Thermal Imaging is More Than Meets the Eye


We see every day. Our two eyes are the source of our thoughts and ideas. However, only 0.0035% of light is visible to the human eye. So how do we know about the other 99.965% of light out there? A big contributor to detecting light outside of the human spectrum is thermal imaging.

As stated before, our eyes can only process certain wavelengths and frequencies. Visible light for us ranges between a wavelength of 400 and 700 nanometers (nm). Therefore, we only see light from violet to red. Thermal imaging can detect waves from 700 to 1000 nm. These cameras double our vision of wavelength on the light spectrum.

The creation of thermal imaging is all thanks to military operations. Kálmán Tihanyi, a renowned Hungarian physicist, collaborated with the British Air Ministry in London in 1929. Here, he experimented with infrared radiation to incorporate it into an aircraft. Tihanyi created a television-like radar that could detect opposing aircrafts. While thermal imaging was intended for the military, it has several more uses today such as:

  • Maritime navigation
  • Skin disease detection
  • Search and rescue missions
  • Building inspections
  • Firefighting
  • HVAC maintenance
  • Animal rescue

Thermal imaging has the capability to change our everyday lives. Commuting is an everyday task. However, driving in the dark is both scary and risky. High beams help when it’s dark out, but there’s still so many invisible dangers. Therefore, top brand vehicle companies like BMW and Audi are installing thermal imaging cameras in their new series designs. These intricate algorithms will keep many drivers from worrying about a stranded deer or lost pedestrian while driving at night. This is only the beginning to guaranteeing driver’s safety after hours.

Over time, thermal imaging technologies will only improve. Everything from image quality and compactness will be engineered into the current thermal imaging camera systems. The wide range application of these cameras will lead to an increased market demand for this product. Therefore, the future for thermal imaging is unpredictable.

CEDARVILLE Engineering Group, LLC (CEG) strives to perfect each project for our clients by utilizing advanced technologies. Call us at 610-705-4500 or email to find out more.

By: J. Auerbach

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Address: CEDARVILLE Engineering Group, LLC 159 E. High Street, Suite 500 Pottstown, PA 19464 Phone: 610-705-4500 Fax: 610-705-4900

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CEDARVILLE Engineering Group, LLC (CEG)
159 E. High Street, Suite 500, Pottstown, PA 19464
P:610-705-4500 F: 610-705-4900
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