As you can imagine, thermal cameras can be used for a wide range of diagnostics where there may be a gradient in temperature. Overheating components, heat loss/leaks, excessive friction in bearings or other mechanical components – the detection applications of a thermal imaging camera are virtually endless.
Thermal Image of an Engine Block During the Manufacturing Process
A thermographic camera, while incredibly useful in almost any field imaginable, is also incredibly expensive. The lowest priced unit that I could find is the Extech i5 which has a price tag of $3000. Other cameras, such as the FLIR T-series model shown above, offer greater accuracy and additional features but are much more expensive. Given its potential utility, this is one of the top tools on my “if I win the lottery wishlist.”
If you have been following the news about H1N1 (swine) flu lately, you may have read that some countries were employing the use of thermal imaging at airports and other locations in attempts to detect anyone who might have a fever. This is just one more example of how versatile this technology is.