Technology insights

How do thermographic cameras work?

Thermographic cameras allow operators to capture detailed images regardless of ambient lighting conditions. They use an infrared (IR) sensing technology to map heat variations within the sensor’s range and field-of-view, providing movement detection and hot-spot mapping even in total darkness. So, how do thermographic cameras generate such valuable imagery in a range of poor lighting conditions?
depth sensor
thermal infrared camera

An Introduction to Thermography

Thermography refers to a range of imaging technologies that detect radiation in the infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum rather than the visible range. The visible spectrum represents a tiny portion of the full electromagnetic range; covering wavelengths of approximately 400 – 700 nanometres (nm) in length. Infrared radiation, by comparison, ranges from 700 – 1,000,000 nm, but thermographic cameras generally sample thermal radiation from within the longwave infrared range (approximately 7,000 – 14,000 nm).

Operating Principles of Thermographic Cameras

All objects with a temperature above absolute zero emit infrared radiation. Thermographic cameras use detectors and lenses that are sensitive to this radiation, focussing this invisible light much like the lens of a standard camera. The difference is that thermal images are usually rendered in monochrome or false RGB coloring based on individual pixels temperature.
thermal infrared camera

The amount of radiation emitted typically has a linear relationship to temperature, so hotter areas typically appear brighter on images while cooler areas are darker. By default, thermographic cameras display hot spots as the areas of greatest intensity, while variations in heat can be used to map objects and detect proximity. This is the conventional setup, but it depends on the colormap used. Operators can also invert the display so that darker areas correspond to hot spots and vice versa.
infrared distance sensor

Thermographic Cameras from Terabee

Terabee supplies a dedicated infrared imaging platform that supports two distinct thermographic camera products: The Evo Thermal 90, and the Evo Thermal 33. Our thermal cameras are lightweight and compact, with a small form-factor to enable seamless integration into your work environment. Each one benefits from distinct image capturing capabilities.

Potential Applications of Thermographic Cameras

Thermography is now a key technology in the field of high-performance optics, with established applications ranging from medical imaging to security. It is seeing increasing uptick in non-conventional markets too. With passive infrared sensing, personal privacy is guaranteed at all times, which is an important property for detection systems in domestic and public areas, as well as workplaces. This additional KPI has helped establish thermographic cameras a potential solution in applications as varied as fall detection, responsive display advertising, and room usage optimization. At Terabee, we also expect to see industrial users put greater stock in thermography moving forward, from original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to warehouses.

If you would like to learn more about the thermographic cameras available from Terabee, simply contact a member of the team using the link below.

Related products

Evo Thermal Sensor Evaluation Kit

Evo Thermal Sensor Evaluation Kit - 1 technology, 32 × 32 px resolution, 2 versions!
Purchase from Reseller
TeraRanger Evo Thermal offers a 32 × 32 pixel resolution to monitor temperature variations and hot spots in your environment. The kit is built on our modular Evo sensor family and includes 2 lightweight thermal sensor modules:

- TeraRanger Evo Thermal 90: wide 90º Field-of-View for larger area coverage
- TeraRanger Evo Thermal 33: 33º Field-of-View for longer range and a more detailed thermal image

The modular two-part design of Evo sensors allows quick testing and prototyping with a variety of interfaces including USB and UART. Just clip-on your preferred interface backboard to any Evo sensor. No additional calibration is required as the sensors stream factory calibrated temperature values in decikelvin.

TeraRanger Evo Thermal 90

Infrared thermal camera, 90° FoV
Purchase from Reseller
The thermographic addition to the TeraRanger Evo family offers versatile performance in a compact and affordable design, ideal for Smart City, Smart Building, and Industrial applications.

Evo Thermal 90º version - benefit from a wide 90º Field-of-View to cover larger areas for monitoring temperature variations. The small and lightweight (from 7 grams) design makes it an ideal solution for system integrators and OEM applications.

The TeraRanger Evo Thermal 90 is no longer available. You can purchase available stock from our Reseller partners using the link below.

TeraRanger Evo Thermal 33

Infrared thermal camera, 33° FoV
Purchase from Reseller
The thermographic addition to the TeraRanger Evo family offers versatile performance in a compact and affordable design, ideal for measuring human body temperature from a distance.

Evo Thermal 33º version - obtain a more detailed thermal image with the 32 × 32 pixel resolution over a 33º Field-of-View. Measure heat variations at an extended range (13 m for human detection) with a 7 Hz sampling rate. The sensor weighs only 12 grams making it suitable to OEM applications and systems integrators.

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