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Thermal Imaging

— Science

Perfect optical absorber invented at Harvard University

By - December 7, 2012 5 Pictures
Harvard Professor of Applied Physics Federico Capasso and his collaborators have invented a nearly perfect optical absorber. By coating a piece of sapphire with an exceedingly thin (180 nm) layer of vanadium dioxide (VO2), a surface is created that absorbs 99.75 percent of infrared light with a wavelength of 11.6 micron wavelength. Such optical absorbers can be tailored to enable a wide range of applications. Read More

Face-scanning cameras could pick out drunks

People who are inebriated in public places (such as airliners or malls) can definitely create problems. Sometimes, though, it’s difficult to tell if someone really is under the influence. Instead of making every “jolly”-looking person take a breathalyzer test, Greek researchers are suggesting something less intrusive – video software that can spot drunks by analyzing their faces. Read More
— Spy Gear

Turn your iPhone into a networked night vision scope

By - April 30, 2012 3 Pictures
Imagine if you could turn your iPhone into an advanced night vision recording device, tuned to your every espionage whim. No, there's not an app for that ... but there is the USNV Night Vision iPhone Adapter. Before you get too excited about it, you should note that it doesn't directly turn an iPhone into a night vision scope – you'll still need an actual separate scope. What the NViA does is bridge the iPhone with the night vision scope to leverage iPhone features like video recording, geo-tagging and messaging ... because when you're in the middle of a midnight tail, sometimes you want to go back and scour the footage for more clues – or I assume that you might want to do that, if you were some type of vigilante running around the city with a pair of infrared goggles. Read More
— Science

Ultrasound thermography used to find flaws in wood

By - August 9, 2011 1 Picture
When choosing wood for applications such as load-bearing beams in houses, it's important not to use pieces that contain cracks or other defects that could affect their structural integrity. While not quite as crucial, it's also nice to avoid flaws when building things like wooden furniture, piano soundboards, or window frames. Typically, people have been limited to visually checking the wood for such defects. Now, however, researchers at Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research have developed a system that highlights faults invisible to the human eye, using a process called high-power ultrasound thermography. Read More
— Environment

Solar panels not just cool for the environment but cool for buildings as well

By - July 18, 2011 3 Pictures
According to a team of researchers at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering, the solar panels sprouting on increasing numbers of residential and commercial rooftops around the world aren’t just generating green electricity, they’re also helping keep the buildings cool. The news that letting photovoltaic panels take the solar beating will reduce the amount of heat reaching the roof shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, but the fact no one has thought to quantify just what the effects of rooftop solar panels on a building’s temperature are is a little baffling. Read More
— Digital Cameras

Long-wave infrared driving cameras on the way

By - July 7, 2010 1 Picture
The benefits of car night vision systems that enable drivers to see people or animals more clearly on dark, unlit roads have already started appearing in luxury cars. But these systems rely on near-infrared (NIR) radiation, which requires the cars to be fitted with infrared headlights to illuminate the road ahead. Falling into the “thermal imaging region”, Long-wavelength (LWIR) cameras require no such external light source but the sensors require constant cooling, adding to the cost and complexity of such devices. Researchers have now developed a new type of detector which functions at room temperature allowing it to be used in cars and other mobile applications. Read More
— Digital Cameras

Thermoteknix VisIR 640 Thermal Imaging System

By - February 23, 2009 6 Pictures
I'm pretty sure I'm not the target market for high-end thermal imaging cameras like the VisIR 640 from Thermoteknix, but I want one anyway. I want it in the same way that I desperately wanted the X-ray specs advertised on the back of my Iron Man comics when I was 12. In this case, the object of my boyish compulsion features a 640 x 480 infrared sensor, integrated voice recorder, 1.3megapixel color camera, plus an innovative swiveling lens design which provides greater shooting flexibility, and like many examples of ex-military tech, it opens up a huge range of potential applications on civvy street. Read More
— Robotics

Climbing robot inspects wind turbines for damage

By - January 29, 2009 1 Picture
Wind turbines, predominantly constructed from glass fiber reinforced plastics, are vulnerable to fractures and flaws that can be impossible for the human eye to detect - and even the cracks visible to humans can often only be spotted in a time-consuming and dangerous examination. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute say that their latest robot creation, RIWEA, can solve both problems to increase the overall efficiency of the wind energy system. Read More
— Automotive

FLIR PathFindIR aftermarket thermal imaging system for cars and motorcycles

By - January 11, 2009 8 Pictures
January 11, 2009 Though only 10% of road miles are driven at night, those miles account for half all road fatalities. Using public roads is a sight response game you play with your own and others’ lives, so being able to improve your night vision will clearly increase safety for everyone. We’ve written about the coming of Mercedes' NightVision Assist for several years now – the system is based around a thermal night vision camera which sees heat, not light, and hence enables you to see the things that count, well beyond the range of the headlights. FLIR is the company Mercedes partnered with on the project and it has now released the PathFindIR system as an aftermarket accessory for cars and motorcycles. Read More
— Robotics

QinetiQ trials remote-controlled fire fighting vehicles

By - December 4, 2007 1 Picture
December 5, 2007 QinetiQ has developed specialized remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) with fire fighting capabilities that can operate in environments that would be unsafe for firefighters. Currently undergoing a six month trial commissioned by Network Rail and the London Fire Brigade, the vehicles are designed to combat the specific issue of fires close to railway tracks that involve Acetylene cylinders - a problem that has been on the rise in the past year causing major delays to commuters. Read More

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