Thermal cameras are an exciting technology that works by transforming different heat measurements from objects into images. For example, a warm body in a forest would give off a warmer heat signature than the trees around him. The person would be highly visible on a quality thermal camera—a traditional device used by law enforcement agencies looking for a suspect in large amounts of terrain difficult to access. For civilians, though, there are also a number of practical uses for them that make investing in one worthwhile. Here we’ll discuss a few of the top uses, reasons why you might want to buy one, and some interesting facts about the technology.
Doctors have discovered a number of uses for thermal imaging in diagnosing diseases or injury, according to AIA Vision Online. Traditional imaging technology like X-rays can only pick up a certain amount of information, which does not include heat patterns under the skin. Thermal cameras can detect heat, though, which makes them useful in looking at vascular activity (blood flow) to identify obstructions or abnormalities in the crucial blood supply, such as breast thermography. Inflammation is another huge contributor to a number of diseases, including arthritis. Researchers have discovered that thermal cameras detect inflammation in the joints, the primary symptom of rheumatoid arthritis. Thermal cameras also detect skin disease, muscle injury, and more potential applications such as identifying emotional distress.
According to Home Inspection Geeks, thermal imaging cameras are used to identify heat loss, plumbing and flue leaks, poor insulation, hot spots, and even pest infestations. Many potential problems in the home can have detrimental impacts on the family’s health, cause major repair bills, and over time diminish the value of a property. While some of these problems, like poor insulation, previously required the expertise of a professional to properly assess, thermal imaging puts the power in the homeowner’s hands. An investment in a thermal camera can save tons of money on costly home visits from carpenters and pest services.
Detecting animals in the wild is necessary in several circumstances. First, in rescue operations, quickly locating an animal can mean the difference between saving them and losing them. Likewise, according to FLIR, researchers studying animals in the wild who use a thermal camera might save themselves hours of stalking and searching. Hunters, too, may benefit in finding their kills with thermal cameras.
A quality thermal camera can now be purchased for a few thousand dollars. With years of use, it might pay for itself in time saved and useful information provided.
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