Computers & Technology

Everything You Need To Know About Thermal Imaging

You must have seen thermal imaging in movies or TV shows. In recent years, thermal imaging has become quite popular because of the vast number of its uses. You can witness thermal imaging being used in many fields.

If you are curious about the overall working of thermal imaging or you wish to buy thermal optics, we have got you covered. Below is everything you need to know about thermal imaging.

What is thermal imaging?

Thermal imaging or thermography is an example of infrared imaging science. Thermal imaging optics use infrared wavelength or heat from the objects around them to duplicate the image on the optics you are using. There is a specific type of lens that is used for thermal imaging. 

The heat sensors are constructed of a grid of pixels. These pixels then convert the infrared wavelengths into electronic signals. The main camera perceives these signals as a color map of different temperature values and gradients. As a result, you can see the map on the screen of your thermal imaging optics.

Types of thermal optics and their use

There are many different types of thermal imaging optics. The range of thermal optics makes it easier for people from different backgrounds to use them. Below are some common types of thermal imaging optics:

  • Monoculars
  • Clip-on
  • Binoculars
  • Cameras
  • Scopes

Thermal optics are used for many reasons; some of them are:

  • Thermal imaging optics are used for safety reasons by firefighters. Fire departments use these thermal optics to detect the number of people stuck in fire-clad areas. Moreover, thermal optics are also used for surveillance and detection of gas leaks. Many people use these to detect overheating as well.
  • Hospitals use thermal optics as well to detect cancer, infections, and circulatory disorders. Further, these optics are used to detect problems and diseases in animals as well.
  • You can also buy industrial thermal optics as they are needed by industries to monitor explosives and electrical hazards.
  • These optics are also used by wildlife photographers to detect the movement of animals at night. These optics aren’t influenced by light which gives them a preference. 
  • There are special-grade military optics too. They are usually scopes for rifles as they help in locating enemies. 

Types of thermal imaging cameras

Thermal imaging cameras come in three different types. These are:

  • Long-wavelength: Thermal imaging cameras with long-wavelength cover a range of 7 to 12 microns. You can expect highly detailed images which are a result of low atmospheric absorption.
  • Mid-wavelength: Thermal cameras with mid wavelength cover a range of 2 to 5 microns. You can expect higher resolution from these cameras. Moreover, these cameras are mostly used for over the too high-temperature readings.
  • Short-wavelength: Shorter wavelength thermal cameras cover a range of 0.9 to 1.7 microns. You can expect a higher resolution in terms of shadow contrasts and details.

Features to consider while buying thermal imaging optics

If you are looking to buy imaging optics, it is recommended you buy them from places such as Below are some things you should consider while buying thermal optics:

  • Resolution: Resolution in thermal optics refers to the detector and not the resolution of the picture. The higher the resolution, the better the optics will be.
  • Focus: You should pay attention to fixed focus, manual focus, autofocus, and multifocal mechanism while considering the focus. 
  • Temperature range: You must determine a temperature range according to the area where you are working. 
  • Price: Compare the price with the features offered; it’ll allow you to estimate whether the price is reasonable or not.
  • Lens: The type of lens you choose affects the overall imaging, so choose the lens according to your use.

You should also consider memory and sharing, color palettes, and sensitivity before buying!