You may not even realize that studies that are related to thermal imaging have been around for a long time. In the year 1800, Sir William Herschel discovered that there is light beyond what is visible to the naked eye.
The thermal imagers and devices that we will see right now are centered towards a type of technology called “thermography.” While this technology has made it possible for the military to improve their strategies and their gadgets, this is not new. If you would think about the clip-on thermal scope right now, you may not realize how much has changed since thermal imaging was detected.
Who Invented Thermal Energy
This started because of the study being done by Sir William Herschel. He was looking for an optical filter and his goal was to reduce the brightness of the sun. He made use of different colored glasses. The reductions in brightness when used with these glasses are just similar to each other.
He later realized that some of the filter samples are not letting as much heat pass through as compared to the others. Some would allow too much heat to pass that it will be enough to cause injury just after a few seconds.
Sir Herschel made use of the red filter and realized that a lot of heat was produced because of this. He allowed sunlight to pass through a prism. This was when he realized that there must be an invisible light that is beyond what can be seen in the spectrum. The first name of this technology is “Calorific Rays.”
Other advancements happened because of this. For example, in the year 1940, the first image that was produced with the use of heat was released. Other details were retrieved from that time on with Sir Herschel constantly gaining information and knowledge about this type of technology. Eventually, he got a primitive record of a thermal image being placed on paper. This is called a thermograph.
First Uses of Thermal Imaging Cameras
The growth of this type of technology became slow after that. It was only in the year 1880 when a breakthrough happened and it made the progress faster. The discovery was made by Sir Peter Langley who created the bolometer. This instrument is used to measure heat. From then on, other changes were made.
- 1929 – Kalman Tihyani, a Hungarian physicist, created an infrared-sensitive television camera. Take note that this is not for entertainment but for the war that was happening then.
- 1978 – Infrared detectors were created. This was patented a year later. This was also the year when IR started to be used for energy audits in vehicles. This also started to become used for law enforcement aircraft, and so much more.
- 1980 – This started to become used for more practical military applications. Other things started to become developed because of this.
People have seen the need to use this type of technology for military purposes. Over the past years, people realized that this can also be used for some of the average things that they do in a day.
Widespread Use of Technology
It is common for people right now to use thermal imaging if they want to protect themselves. Some security cameras will not only make use of night vision. They can also provide thermal imaging. The reason for this is simple – it will be harder to hide from thermal imaging cameras as compared to night vision cameras.
If you have a night vision camera installed somewhere in your home, all that a person has to do is to make sure that he is beyond the line of sight of the camera. The person will not be detected and you will not even know that a person was nearby. Hiding from thermal imaging cameras is going to be more challenging.
Some people have already made an effort to bring a pane of glass with them especially if they know that they will be visible on camera. Using the pane of glass will help them stay hidden while they are moving around. You know that this sounds very impractical, right? It can be very heavy too.
There are other things that you should know about this type of technology:
- It can provide evidence to poorly-lit places. Night vision cameras will need a certain amount of light to work. If there isn’t enough light, the images that it will get may not be clear enough to provide evidence. Thermal imaging can provide exactly what people need.
- This has been used in a lot of fields. It is used in the medical field to see if there are some abnormal temperature changes. It is also used in fires so that firefighters will know if certain areas are safer when they are moving around. Law enforcement has used thermal imaging for a long time.
- Thermal imaging is also being incorporated into the vehicles that are being used. This is not only used for private cars. It can be placed in buses and other public transportation too.
Thermal imaging may not be as widespread as compared to night vision technology. People still expect that a lot of changes will occur. It can improve and become better as time passes by. Perhaps it would be used for security more often in the future too.