[Tech]Story Ep. 06 – Infrared Imaging, How We Can See in the Dark


Podcast Audio!

What is it?

      • Infrared (IR) imaging consists of sensing and representing waves in the infrared region of light.
      • IR light is a range of the electromagnetic spectrum from 30 cm to 750 nm in wavelength.1
      • The camera records IR light which is represented after software processing as a color. Typically blue to red.


      • In February of 1800, Sir Frederick William Herschel discovered IR light when dispersing light through a glass prism onto mercury thermometers.2
           ○ He observed that areas beyond the visible light spectrum were warmer than within the visible region.2
           ○ In sunlight, the majority of energy comes from the IR region.

Modern Methods

      • Fast forward to now, we have handheld cameras that allow us to see the affect IR has around us.
      • According to Fluke, IR waves enter the lens of the unit, much like a camera. The lens is specially made to focus the IR range of light. The light is focused onto a sensor and the signal is processed and displayed on a screen.3


• Remote controls.
○ Get your cell phone and your TV remote. Open your camera app and point the remote at your camera. Most likely you will see a light that isn’t visible to the naked eye.
• Satellite weather tracking.
○ IR for night weather tracking.4
○ Temperature detection (Thermal Imaging).4
○ Determine cloud info such as altitude, density, etc.4
• Heat Tracking missiles/anti-missile artillery. 5
• Cooking/heating/welding.5
• Night Vision Optics.5
• Leaks in Insulation.

Future Tech

• Identifying Blood vessels in minimally invasive surgery techniques.6
• Anti-IR tech for military stealth.

The Possible uses of IR seem endless, and it’s easy to think of ways to use it for temperature measurement, but what I want to know is what are some uses you can think of for IR tech that would disrupt an industry?



  1. https://www.livescience.com/50260-infrared-radiation.html
  2. http://rfrench.org/astro/papers/P44-HET607-RobertFrench.pdf
  3. http://en-us.fluke.com/training/training-library/measurements/how-infrared-cameras-work.html
  4. https://www.atmos.ucla.edu/weather/satellite/about
  5. http://physics.tutorvista.com/waves/infrared-waves.html
  6. https://medcitynews.com/2013/02/5-innovative-uses-for-infrared-technology-from-early-bedsore-detection-to-preventing-surgical-errors-video/

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