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A thermal imaging scope

10 Interesting Facts You Didn’t Know About Thermal Imaging Scopes

Thermal imaging scopes are rapidly being adopted by numerous industries including automated machinery monitoring, HVAC trouble detection and marine iceberg detection.

Thermal imaging scopes have wonderfully enhanced the way problems are encountered across industries, and much of it is owed to the unique processes followed by these scopes. A thermal imaging scope detects heat across a surface and works on it to give you the feedback you require.

Contrary to popular belief, most thermal imaging scopes detect heat rather than light. The image is displayed in the form of a heat map, crafted through the amalgamation of possible temperature data. Thermal imaging scopes are also particularly preferred in the detection of faulty electrical components, building analysis and overheating appliances.

Regardless of whether you choose a high-end model or a simple point-and-shoot model, you should know that there are certain myths, facts and legends circulating about these scopes. To separate fact from fiction, here we mention 10 of the most interesting facts about thermal imaging scopes that you probably hadn’t heard of previously.

1.   Detector Resolution

These scopes come with detector resolution, which usually indicates the number of pixels on the scope camera. The higher the number of pixels, the better your output through resolution.

Spatial resolution of a thermal imaging scope can be used for determining the smallest size of an object you can recognize, and detecting through a thermal imaging scope. Spatial resolution should be on the lower side, as that determines better image quality and attention to heat map detail.

2.   Focus

Luckily enough, a thermal imaging scope offers plenty of focus mechanisms to choose from. The focus mechanism you eventually choose should be based on the skill level you boast, and the application that you are working on.

The focus mechanisms commonly used here include:

  • Fixed: This focus mechanism is simple and requires you to point and shoot.
  • Manual: This focus mechanism requires you to practice precise and incremental focus.
  • Laser Assisted Auto Focus: This focus mechanism works by calculating distance from the target through a laser distance meter.
  • Auto Focus: Automatically focuses on your target.
  • Multifocal: Can capture multiple images from different focal distances. These results can then be blended into one picture.

3.   Unique Temperature Range

The temperature range of every project is unique and determined by the lowest and highest temperature points you encounter during an inspection. A scope with a wider temperature range can work well here, as it comes with auto adjustment of the temperature range. You can also manually set the range based on what you want.

4.   Adjustable Lenses

Some thermal imaging scopes and cameras allow you to change the lens for better results. Changing the lens in time eventually leads to more versatility in results, leading to a better analysis of different scenarios.

Through adjustable lenses you can work on multiple situations and equipments. The lenses you have available here can work for a wide variety of applications, and these include wide angle, standard, macro and telephoto lenses.

5.   Saving Images

Most thermal imaging scopes allow you to save images in whatever manner you want, wherever you want. The good part about these thermal imaging scopes is that you can save case-related images on an internal memory, a USB flash drive or a removable SD card.

You obviously need backup for the results you generate from your camera or your scope, which is why it is important that you store them immediately for future reference. All images, heat maps and other related data from the scopes should be saved.

6.   High Contrast Palettes Find Anomalies

High contrast color palettes can easily find obvious anomalies, but cannot locate or find the slight differences. To find slight differences, you would have to turn towards monochromatic palettes, such as amber or grayscale.

The good part about most thermal imaging scopes and cameras is that you can adjust the palette within the settings or software for your scope.

7.   Nothing Can Hide from Thermal Imaging Scopes

Thermal imaging scopes do not rely on light for producing results or locating something. Since they rely on heat sensors, the lighting in the room, weather conditions and other factors impacting visibility cannot impact the results achieved through these scopes or cameras.

This is probably one reason why thermal scopes are more commonly being used for police and investigation agencies. These scopes make it easy for these departments to run search programs in complete darkness.

8.   Not Perfect for Ghost Hunting

We don’t know how many of you believed in this, but thermal imaging scopes cannot be used for ghost hunting. Most popular ghost hunting programs use these scopes and cameras, but the results aren’t satisfactory or trust worthy.

Most of what you see in these ghost hunting programs are natural phenomenon, such as heat coming from a human’s body, heat from behind walls and even heat from reflective surfaces.

9.   Multiple Applications

Thermal imaging scopes are becoming popular because of the high number of industries they can be applied in. Some applications of the device include:

  • Inspection of wires and insulation in building inspections
  • Electrical inspections to check out overheating components and wires
  • Marine application for commercial vehicles to check and detect icebergs
  • Law enforcement agencies
  • Security processes
  • Medical applications for checking tissue damage

10.       Charge Level Indicator

Many thermal imaging scopes come with a charge level indicator on them, which is best suited for your needs. You cannot head to an inspection or other important job without an idea of how much battery is left. These scopes and cameras come with batteries that can be charged quickly.


About the Author Rob Carson

I work in commercial construction, in Dallas, TX.

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