What is Infrared?

infrared light spectrum

 Infrared is an energy similar to visible light, but with a longer wavelength. Infrared energy is invisible to the human eye, however, while visible light energy is emitted by objects only at a very high temperature, infrared energy is emitted by all objects at ordinary temperatures. 

infrared camera diagram

 Since thermal imagers sense infrared energy which varies with the temperature of objects in a scene, the image generated provides a thermal signature of the scene. This image can be displayed on a standard video monitor. Infrared energy from objects in a scene are focused by optics onto an infrared detector. The infrared information is then passed to sensor electronics for image processing. The signal processing circuitry translates the infrared detector data into an image that can be viewed on a standard video monitor. 

visible light and thermal image comparison

 These systems are affordable and reliable. Thermal imaging systems not only let you see in the dark, but they also enhance your ability to detect critical objects. Warmer objects such as people and animals stand out from typically cooler backgrounds. Thermal imaging systems see better than the unaided eye in daylight, night and most poor weather conditions.