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Thermal photography

96,658 views | Last edited by warren almost 2 years ago | #3


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Thermal photography /wiki/thermal-photography almost 2 years ago by warren 68 96,658 5
Thermal Flashlight /wiki/thermal-flashlight almost 2 years ago by warren 7 1,207 1
Posters /wiki/posters over 5 years ago by sara 31 8,413 2
Scanning thermal camera /wiki/scanning-thermal-camera over 5 years ago by warren 3 28,677 2

Thermal infrared cameras are designed to take photos or videos of heat (not to be confused with near infrared cameras). Some of these are tuned specifically for gases, and can be used to image #methane.

Applications

Thermal imaging can be used to document heat/AC leaks from insulation gaps on a building's facade, reveal warmer ground water inflows (either fresh or chemical-laden) or "thermal pollution" from industrial processes entering ocean-temperature waterbodies, as well as identify areas on the human body experiencing infection or stress (includes epidemiological applications).

Specific models of FLIR brand cameras, known as the FLIR GasFinder (http://www.flir.com/ogi/display/?id=55671). See GasFinder below for more.

Community applications so far include both a "heat-busters" program in East Harlem and a "forensic" water quality monitoring program in the Gowanus Canal.

Questions

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DIY Approaches

There are three Do-It-Yourself prototypes in development to try to do this more cheaply than the off-the-shelf options. These projects were started a few years ago and may not be active:

  • A Thermal Flashlight: a RGB LED flashlight with a non-contact infrared sensor that "paints" the temperature of the surface directly on the wall for capture with a second timelapse camera.
  • A Thermal Fishing Bob: dragging a thermometer through the water, taking contact measurements mapped to a RGB light, also for capture with a second timelapse camera.
  • A scanning thermal camera on a LEGO turntable (software also in development) that sweeps back and forth across a scene, recording the temperature variation to build up an image.

Problem

Why make a DIY version? "FLIR" cameras can produce images such as the one below, and are typically used to identify heat leaks, but even low-resolution FLIR cameras can cost thousands of dollars. The goal of these DIY thermal camera projects is to make this kind of investigation (and the potential savings) cheap, easy, fun, and informative for those of us without $10k in our pockets.

FLIR house


Activities

Add an activity  or request an activity guide you don't see listed

Activities should include a materials list, costs and a step-by-step guide to construction with photos. Learn what makes a good activity here.