The thermal scanner is a device that measures heat or infra-red energy. These devices may be standalone, part of a network, or portable equipment. There are a few inexpensive devices for your average consumer to use, as well as numerous other gadgets for high-end consumers. Thermography is the science behind a thermal scanner, which detects infra-red, or heat radiation. There are many high-end products that are useful for certain market segments of consumers for work or play utilization. There are many ways that the science behind the thermal scanner could be placed into use for you; there are useful applications for thermal scanners for many people.
The infra-red ray reader or heat reader may be used in a variety of different applications. Doctors and nurses might use a thermal scanner as a way of taking your body temperature. A security checkpoint might look for a gun or weapon by way of using a thermal scanner. A home inspector might use a thermal scanner to test the efficiency of your home’s insulation.
How These Scanners Work
How a thermal scanner works is this, it senses heat rays, or infra-red rays, much like a radar scanner detects motion, or a camera detects like. There are thermal scanners that cost $35, and there are thermal scanners that cost $200,000. There are numerous types and models of thermal scanners sold specifically for use by small or medium-sized businesses or for upscale consumers, mainly those with home-based businesses.
Why you might need a thermal scanner, as a consumer is less than a complex need, for instance, thermal scanners that take body temperature are generally faster and more efficient than traditional thermometers are. Also, if you are a dog, cat, bird, or horse breeder who must look for live animals on a regular basis, you might want to obtain a set of thermal scanning sunglasses for yourself, as a way of finding a missing pet. These sunglasses were available at the Sharper Image website last year. Or, you might want to try a hand-held or pocket thermal scanner to achieve the same goal of finding a live object.
Scanners, bar-code scanners, the Nielsen scanner, the pay-per-use scanner concept. Our household was accepted into this experiment; however, the machine was returned to the sender prior to me being able to examine it or use it. Not accepting the bar code reader, the household was not sent the beta-test of the infra-red scan thermometer, either, for home use. Thermal scanning is a technology in extensive research and development as well as home-use beta-testing that a few select companies are giving to consumers in exchange for their evaluation services of the product.
There are thermal image cameras, and these are infra-red or similar devices. These cameras may be used for tomographic imaging. Certain types of topographical scanners rely on infra-red wavelengths, or heat wavelengths, to generate photographic images. Some fire departments are using airborne thermal scanners, and they have also been used by satellites.
Scanners You can Purchase
After a few brief searches for a thermal scanner that you could definitely use in your home, I found one, an infra-red ear thermometer. This thermal scanner thermometer, manufactured by the Braun corporation is an infrared thermoscan ear thermometer. This is a consumer or medical clinic thermometer (if your clinic purchases the necessary thermometer protectors, and sterilization agents to shield the patients from germs). The Braun IRT 3020, Model BRAIRT3020/B000FJCZRC, is sold at Goodman’s, Amazon.com, and Today’s concept on-line stores, as well as some medical supply stores. This was not any of the thermal scanners that I initially had in mind; however, it works. There are also arm or wrist cuff thermometers that integrate a thermal scanner into the device. The price range for this thermal scanner is $32 – $76. There are practical applications for the use of the infrared thermometer using infra-red thermal scanning technologies for the healthy as well as the not-so-healthy person at a clinic or at their home.
The NIST Traceable Thermometer Model #4481 costs $59, at Control 3, and works extremely rapidly. This is a thermometer that looks like a laser pointer and works almost as quickly. This is a scientific thermometer used for commercial applications. The Control 3 Corporation has a full product line of thermal scanner thermometers. The Control 3 Traceable Thermometer Model #4475 is a pocket-sized thermometer, which is fast and accurate, a useful tool for hospitality workers, the price of which starts at $35.27. This company even manufactures a thermal scan “gun” model thermometer, that will take the temperature of objects that are 25 feet or more away. The Traceable Thermometer Model #4483-4484 costs $199 and is useful for many applications, such as locating people or animals.
Remote sensors are a type of thermal scanning device, though not all thermal scanners are remote sensors. Nor are all remote sensors thermal scanners. There have been recent advances in the development of the thermal scanner; technology for this device has been increasing steadily over the past decade.
Thermal scanners for security purposes
TheSago iPat, and aPatsenses heat that is not in the infrared range, this is a “hot” product in the security market, as it detects cool zones or mylar fabric sheets, or plastic insulation sheets that sometimes successfully throw off traditional metal detectors. These are practical products for concerts, sports performances, and other venues where people gather en masse.
SAGO advertisement for the iPat and aPat and other products in the line of infrared and heat scanners more frequently finding items such as hidden iPods and electronic organizer than weapons. However, the discovery of a hand grenade even once is worth the purchase of this product.
A person can now take their temperature with two or three heat scanners simultaneously, one in the ear, one around an arm, while observing the outside temperature with thermal sunglasses, and measuring radar activity with a roof-mount radar with dual thermal scanning.
A person with a lot of disposable cash is even able to purchase their very own solar-powered satellite with a thermal scanner and photographic capabilities and watch their family’s driving habits on the highway. It’s a great way to keep track of your family, I guess, although not a practical idea for your average homeowner.
It’s very different from the police scanner too, which can do more than just tracking police officers, fire departments, and other disaster response teams. With a police scanner, you can even listen to radio messages between policemen and responders to monitor any possible situation in your local community for security purposes. For further reading about this, RatedRadarDetector discusses some of the best police scanner models, their uses, benefits, and importance. Now let’s go back to the thermal application.
Availability of Thermal Scanners
Energy Star is an arm of the Environmental Protection Agency, which does joint ventures with several of the branches of the Executive branch of the federal government. You, dear reader, had best believe that there are stockpiles of all sorts of thermal scanners within various agencies of the federal government. Some of these devices are now available to consumers.
The Motorola Corporation also manufactures a variety of equipment, some of this exclusively for law enforcement, other items, such as the hand-held bar code scanner, relying on a technology similar to the thermal scanner, Motorola manufactures for consumer use.
Some astronomical observatory equipment includes a thermal scanner, in this case, an infra-red telescope. This is above and beyond anything that you will probably be needed for your home or business. However, we thought you might like to see what an infra-red telescope one looks like, just in case your grandchildren want one. There are reasons for infra-red and heat scanners being pointed out towards the skies, these could be big reasons, or small reasons, however, we need to be aware of these things.
There are even sunglasses for sale for less than $200 with built-in thermal scanners, somewhere, although, the $199 Tag Heuer matte black infra-red sunglasses being sold on eBay as of this writing are probably infra-red blockers, not infra-red observing sunglasses. Do people who use infra-red scanners extensively need infra-red blocking sunglasses? I’m not a professional optometrist, however, I would think this to be the case.
You might be thinking of all the interesting ways that a thermal scanner could be used for everything from checking where there are heat leaks in a vehicle or home, to checking the temperature of your morning coffee. Thermal scanners are not children’s toys; however, the price of some of these gizmos and gadgets is now at the point where most teenagers, as well as a few children, are now able to purchase these items. Responsible use of these thermal scanners is absolutely necessary, especially around impressionable people such as children.
Other Thermal Scanning Applications
A lot of people want thermal cameras, which are devices that are much more expensive, and similar in nature to thermal scanners. Thermographic scanners are, in some cases, as inexpensive as any electronic gadget, and are useful things with several practical applications for a significant market segment of consumers. Thermal scanners are a more practical business expense than a thermal camera would be. Thermal cameras are able to detect flaws in the structure of things such as house insulation, motor insulation, boat waterproofing, or window sealings; however, these are more expensive than a similar grade of thermal scanner would be. I would recommend a thermal camera only for a large business or successful photography studio.
Not everyone is happy with the proficiency of all thermal scanning devices, especially as used on humans for medical applications. Ruaridh Owen’s research, Thermography not Accurate in Diagnosing (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)…aptly describes some of the deficiencies of thermal imaging for pediatric medicine applications, where three dimensions are involved, as in the mapping of fat and skin tissue on and in a child’s face. Medical applications are a bit more than the scope of what this article will cover for the applications of thermal scanners for consumers, small or medium-sized businesses.