Infrared Imaging: Focus on Features

By Matthew S. Overley  
OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: Understanding the Three Types of Infrared CamerasPt. 2: This PagePt. 3: Infrared Imaging: Tools for Predictive, Preventive MaintenancePt. 4: Infrared Imagers Identify Energy-Wasting Systems

As the technology behind infrared imaging improves, so does the functionality of the latest generation of cameras. Many feature smaller pixels, which creates more pixels per square inch and contributes to better resolution for more accurate temperature analysis and sensitivity. A variety of color palettes lets users select the best way to display results for better interpretation of images.

Photo-capture capabilities allow technicians to more quickly and easily download images to an array of software applications for analysis and reporting. On newer models, the camera embeds the selected parameters and settings into the still image, allowing certain applications to manipulate the image after downloading. Technicians can add temperature points, change color palettes, alter temperature ranges, and change specifications for more accurate reporting.

As with most new or advanced technology, managers need to specify training to accompany operation of an infrared camera. Simply knowing the materials and characteristics is not enough. Training is essential to ensure accurate interpretation of the results.

When using infrared technology on building envelopes, technicians also must know materials, typical applications, building pressures, and the way environmental factors, including sun, shading, wind, and rain, affect the characteristics of materials they scan.

Even though the initial costs for infrared cameras are dropping, the price and subsequent training requirements still represent a significant investment by the organization. As an alternative to these expenditures, managers can turn to consultants who perform these evaluations and provide detailed analysis reports for most infrared applications.

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  posted on 3/1/2009   Article Use Policy

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