Thermal Imaging Terminology by ProQuest

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									                        THERMAL IMAGING TRAINING                                                                >>>
By BRAD HARVEY




Thermal Imaging Terminology
What Does All the Technical Stuff Really Mean?

T
         he Fire Department Instruc-                               cessing hardware and software play a         amount of energy that it can receive and
         tors Conference (FDIC) is one                             greater role in determining picture qual-    process. If the sensor is exposed to more
         of my favorite activities of the                          ity. The detectors in the fire service are   heat (thermal energy) than it can mea-
year, as I get an opportunity to interact                          available as 80x60, 120x120, 160x120 or      sure, then it has reached its saturation
with firefighters from all over the world                          320x240 pixels. Most TIs use a 160x120       point. Therefore, if a sensor can receive
who come by the booth to talk about                                detector. The 320x240                                     up to 1,000 degrees Fahren-
thermal imaging. The show allows me
to ask questions, answer questions and
                                                                   detectors have four
                                                                   times more pixels than
                                                                                                 A thermal                   heit in energy, then it cannot
                                                                                                                             detect or display a difference
really get a feel for what is on the minds
of firefighters when it comes to thermal
                                                                   the smaller detectors.
                                                                   Generally speaking, the
                                                                                                  imager is                  between a 1,000ºF item and
                                                                                                                             a 1,500ºF item – the most
imaging. On the drive home, I was re-
flecting on the questions and interac-
                                                                   higher the resolution
                                                                   will yield a better po-
                                                                                                   a highly                  it can sense is 1,000ºF. If a
                                                                                                                             large number of pixels be-
tions over the previous five days and felt
like I had spent quite a lot of time at the
                                                                   tential for image qual-    technical piece
                                                                   ity. Price will rise or fall
                                                                                                                             come saturated, then an im-
                                                                                                                             age may be mostly white or
show explaining technical terminology
to firefighters. Some were confused by
                                                                   with resolution more
                                                                   than with any other fea-
                                                                                               of equipment,                 clouded by white. This is not
                                                                                                                             “white out.” The detector,
sales pitches that they had heard and
others were confused by sales literature
                                                                   ture of a thermal imager.
                                                                   The key is to determine
                                                                                               but you don’t                 and thus the TI, is perform-
                                                                                                                             ing properly. It has been ex-
they had read. While a thermal imager
(TI) is still a highly technical piece of
                                                                   what resolution is suffi-
                                                                   cient for your needs and
                                                                                               have to be an                 posed to a significant heat
                                                                                                                             source and is generating a
equipment (resulting in the need for
technical literature and sales presenta-
                                                                   budget.
                                                                        • White out – This
                                                                                                engineer to                  mostly white image as a re-
                                                                                                                             sult. This should be a danger
tions), you do not need to be an engi-
neer to understand the terminology.
                                                                   term is a holdover from
                                                                   the early days of fire ser-
                                                  
								
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