Seeing The Invisible With Infrared Cameras

Every day, cameras capture some of the most breathtaking sights on earth. The ripple of water as it cascades down cliffs, a fire engine-red rose in full bloom, a leaf floating on a puddle – these images are preserved in memory and in colored prints, thanks to cameras. The same cannot be said of infrared cameras, however. Infrared cameras do not capture images the way we see them in real life. In fact, the pictures that infrared cameras produce may even appear odd, disfigured, or even ugly. Some even think the random splashes of bright color indicate that the camera is broken. Once you understand how infrared cameras are used, however, these images begin to make sense, and even become beautiful in an indefinable way. Somewhere Outside the Rainbow Infrared light includes a range of radiation that we cannot see. Red is the brightest color on rainbows, and infrared radiation is just a little bit beyond it. On the other end, infrared radiation is positioned only a little bit below microwave radiation. For infrared light to be captured, nothing should block the object that is “viewing” the radiation. Infrared transmissions are used in audio and video remote controls, various detectors, and wireless connections between tools for computers. Hot Pictures The average Joe would find it hard to explain how infrared cameras are used. But really, the principle is simple. Its even akin to the principle behind the workings of a regular camera. This is how infrared cameras are used. An infrared camera captures an object’s black-body radiation. A body emits this radiation due to temperature. The warmest infrared colors are usually white. Middle temperatures are colored yellow and red, and the coolest temperatures are colored blue. Infrared cameras work in pitch black because the amount of light surrounding objects is irrelevant. This, as well as other features, makes them ideal for several functions. Hot Bodies You may still be a little confused over how infrared cameras are used, but there’s no doubt you’ve seen one of its most practical applications. Infrared cameras are used to save lives. People and other mammals usually give off more heat than their environment. This tendency becomes even more pronounced at night. Infrared cameras can be used to look for people and animals lost or trapped in places such as thick forests, areas beneath avalanches and collapsed structures, and huge bodies of water. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes Infrared cameras may also be useful in search and rescue operations. To illustrate how infrared cameras are used in this case, imagine a typical raging inferno. As flames lick up houses one at a time, firefighters often have to walk through areas where visibility is nearly zero. This is where specially designed infrared cameras come handy. Built to endure extreme temperatures, these cameras help firefighters spot fire victims, as well as areas where fire still rages. The camera’s display is attached to the brim of a firefighter’s helmet, for easy access to information. Fire, Ice, and Bodies On other occasions, infrared cameras are used to search people, rather than to search for them. In the medical field, high-speed infrared pictures allow physicians to examine patients for extreme cooling or heating of the body. These changes indicate medical problems, among them cancerous tissues, abnormal circulation, and inflammation. Don’t Drink Water If It Gets Cooler Infrared cameras may also be used to study the causes of medical problems. To better understand how infrared cameras are used in this context, let’s focus on drinking water. The Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, notes that polluted drinking water and surface water is one of the United States’ gravest environmental problems. Infrared cameras are often used to monitor stormwater drainage systems that flow into rivers, streams, creeks, and lakes. The cameras contrast the flow of non-water liquids, which is generally warmer than the flow of water, with water. The cameras quickly scan the region, including regions that would be difficult to access without infrared cameras. Then, they indicate the problematic areas on a digital map. There is no doubt technology continues to improve our lives, and the infrared camera is no exception. It shows us what is otherwise invisible and gives hope when there is none. Seeing The Invisible With Infrared Cameras

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・ Seeing The Invisible With Infrared Cameras

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