First available in the 1960s, when it was used to survey high-voltage power lines, advances in infrared imaging technology have enabled the systems to evolve from backpack-sized units that required cryogenic cooling systems to today’s handheld systems, according to an article from Facility Maintenance Decisions on the FacilitiesNet website.
The latest generation of infrared systems use a sensor that operates at ambient temperature and requires no external cooling, while producing improved image quality.
The use of infrared imaging allows managers to take a more proactive approach to maintenance. Instead of having to wait for equipment to fail, technicians can use non-invasive, non-destructive monitoring to detect abnormal heat buildup without having to take it off-line.
The latest generation of infrared imaging systems offers increased resolution, among other advances. Today’s high-resolution systems have a 640x480 detector with 307,200 pixels, some offering four times the resolution of earlier detectors. Higher resolution means clearer images, better measurement accuracy, a larger field of view, and the ability to generate images of distant targets.