History of Infrared

Infrared cameras, also known as thermal imagers or forward looking infrared (FLIR), were originally developed for military use during the Korean War to further enhance night vision capabilities. Thermal infrared cameras quickly found applications in public safety and then slowly migrated into commercial fields where they are used as tools to conduct electrical inspections and home energy audits.

  • Military Applications

    Night vision optics are used extensively by the United States armed forces and have been incorporated into aircrafts and sea and land vehicles. Ground forces use a hand held ir camera for general theatre scanning and a thermal imaging scope for target acquisition.

  • Thermography Definition

    Thermography is a technique for detecting and measuring variations in emitted heat and transforming them into visible signals that can be recorded photographically.

  • What is Infrared Light?Infrared light (IR) is electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength between 0.7 and 300 micrometers, which makes it longer than visible light but shorter than microwaves.
  • The articles section of this web site discusses topics in thermal imaging discuss basic infrared theory and thermal imaging terms like emissivity.

Infrared Uses Overview

  • Modern Applications of IR Technology

    This amazing infrared technology has many diverse uses in everyday life. Advanced IR optics sensors with sophisticated software interfaces and increased affordability continue to enhance the versatility of thermal infrared cameras which are now commonly used for predictive electric maintenance, research and development, home energy audits, and home inspections. 

  • Predictive Maintenance

    In all electrical or mechanical systems, excessive heat is a reliable predictor of future breakdowns. Professional, comprehensive infrared inspections can reduce downtime, prevent disastrous failures, and most importantly, save lives and money.

  • Electric Panel Inspection

    This series of images shows the tremendous amount of heat generated and emitted by different overloaded circuits. Diagnosing and repairing this type of potentially hazardous resistance of electrical flow can prevent costly and life threatening structural fires.

  • The origin of conductor, insulation, and component electrical problems can be traced to poor connections by a trained and certified thermographer using an infrared camera. The forging of friction causing resistance in mechanical systems can also be found this way.

hot applications

Home Energy Audit

home energy auditHomeowners and residential contractors use infrared energy audits to diagnose and resolve problems and improve home energy efficiency. Since infrared cameras display heat as a visual image, inspectors can take pictures of home energy losses.

More Unique Uses for Thermal Imaging

These applications are often used in construction and housing sectors:

  • Find Water Damage
  • Find Concrete Problems
  • Find Radiant Floor Leaks
  • HVAC Troubleshooting
  • Find Cold Storage Failures
  • Inspect Sub Contractor Work
  • Find Flat Roof Leaks
  • Inspect Roofing Insulation

  • These applications are often used in electrical and industrial settings:

  • Inspect Electrical Panels
  • Find Failing Motors. Shafts & Bearings
  • Inspect Transformer Switches
  • Find Bus Duct Leaks

  • These applications are often used in safety, law enforcement, and security:

  • Contraband Detector
  • Border Patrol
  • Perimeter Surveillance
  • Search and Rescue
  • Airline Safety Inspections

  • These applications are often used in health care and medical fields:

  • Cancer Research
  • Blood Circulation Vascular Scans
  • Muscular Performance Evaluation