What is a Thermal Camera? How does it work?
Updated: Jul 14
A thermal camera is a device that often resembles a security camera. Instead of merely capturing moving images, though, it senses and detects heat. Our thermal cameras detect body heat, mainly that emanates from a person's forehead.
If the person's forehead, exceeds a certain preset temperature tolerance level, an alarm will sound to alert nearby staff that someone may need medical attention.
How Does It Work?
Thermal imaging cameras detect heat that leaves a person body. The thermal camera will assign each temperature level with colour. Our basic thermal cameras will compare it to objects around that person to compare.
Specifically, the cameras have this capability, through the use of infrared light. Infrared light cannot be seen, but if it's hot enough, you can feel it.
Here is a pop question. Which object around you, right now do you think gives off infrared radiation?
The Answer? Almost everything. All objects will bounce off some sort of infrared light.
Temperature Cameras, therefore work this way, it senses infrared rays and uses this information to create an image. This image commonly looks like a silhouette along with different shades of colour that represent the intensity of the heat.
If the heat sources are hot, the imaging will show red or orange. If the heat source is relatively cool, it will display as blue or green.
Internally a thermal camera captures infrared light through the use of microbolometers. When you view thermal monitor screens, each pixel you see has one microbolometer. Using thousands of these microbolometers, the cameras can paint a picture using the heat of the subject.
This is how thermal cameras pick up heat signals and using software they can be very accurate in determining forehead temperatures.