Thermal screening, a procedure in which the skin surface temperature is detected and analysed, has been playing a critical role since the outbreak of Covid-19. Thermal imaging cameras are placed at airports, railway stations, transportation hubs, offices, shopping malls, and other high-traffic areas to scan the body temperature of the incoming people. If the body temperature of the scanned person is too high, the operator of the thermal device is immediately notified. The person with elevated body temperature is then examined by a medical professional, and his or her body temperature measured with an oral thermometer. Thermal screening devices are incredibly useful in preventing the spread of this highly infectious disease. It is, however, important to note that they cannot defect whether the person is infected with a particular virus – they merely provide the device operator with the surface temperature of the scanned person. Further examination is required to make a diagnosis.
Such devices have been in use even before the coronavirus disease to control other outbreaks. Furthermore, they are a helpful tool for diagnosing disorders associated with the neck, limbs, and back.
Thermal imaging devices are used elsewhere. They are a crucial piece of equipment in electrical maintenance. Power technicians use them to analyse the surface temperature of electrical equipment, looking for signs of overheating. Loose connections and sections that are beginning to fail can also be spotted.
Plumbers can greatly benefit from thermography. A thermal imaging device can detect a possible leak in the pipe, even the smallest one, saving lots of time and work. They are especially useful when inspecting equipment that is hard to reach.
Construction technicians use thermal imaging devices to ensure that temperature regulation in the observed building is efficient, paying attention to walls, doors, windows, and air conditioning units.
Hunters use thermal imaging devices to quickly locate and identify animals, especially at night. These devices are available as monoculars, binoculars, riflescopes, and riflescope clip-ons.
One can see through smoke with a thermal imaging device, which is why it is an excellent piece of equipment for firefighters, particularly in rescue missions where every second counts. Firefighters also use them to quickly spot fires, so that they can extinguish them before they spread.
Because thermography is beneficial in so many fields (only some of them are listed above), the devices associated with it are rapidly gaining in popularity.
For now (December 2020), thermal screening devices are mostly used in high-traffic areas such as airports and railway stations. In some countries, they are already placed in offices, restaurants, shopping malls, etc. The extent to which these devices will be used in the future greatly depends on the progression of the coronavirus disease.
is an optics enthusiast who writes articles and reviews in the field of binoculars, riflescopes, NV optics etc. Currently, he is a member of the Optics Trade team.