31 Jan '12, 4pm

IR Eye

A recent energy audit at my place of worship indicated that the insulation in the walls and ceiling was pretty poor. That was obvious enough from casual inspection. But some subtle cracks revealed themselves only through the use of high technology—thermal imagery, which showed the locations of several air leaks in vivid detail. Seeing those results, I was so impressed that I went off to the Web to check out thermal-imaging cameras, only to discover that they typically run several thousand dollars. Ouch. This type of imagery shouldn't be confused with run-of-the-mill infrared photography , which uses wavelengths only slightly longer than 0.75 micrometers or so. Thermal-imaging cameras sense much longer wavelengths, typically 8 µm or more. The difference is critical: Unless you're taking a picture of something heated to the point of being almost red hot, infrared photography...

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/geek-life/hands-on/ir-eye

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