Thermal imaging versus illuminated infrared cameras

Hawk IR International explains the benefits that thermal imaging cameras offer over traditional illuminated infrared cameras, particularly in areas covered by the ATEX Directive.

Thermal imaging cameras offer useful solutions to some difficult problems. With their ability to 'see' in total darkness, through mist or fog, and with excellent contrast and sensitivity, thermal imaging cameras can be used for a variety of duties, including security, surveillance, navigation and process monitoring.

Thermal imaging camera stations differ from traditional illuminated infrared cameras in that they operate solely from radiated target heat. This results in systems with far greater sensitivity and much better contrast - meaning better image quality and target acquisition.

The Equipment and Protective Systems intended for use in Potentially Explosive Atmospheres (ATEX) Directive 94/9/EC came into force on 1 July 2003. It covers all mechanical and electrical equipment and protection systems to be used in potentially explosive atmospheres:

  • Underground
  • On surface
  • Fixed installations offshore

Countries covered by the Directive are those in the European Union (EU) plus the European Free Trade Area (EFTA) countries.

Recent developments have allowed high-technology thermal camera stations to be manufactured and certified to the latest ATEX Equipment Directive and deployed with excellent results across a variety of applications, including:

  • Oil Spillage Detection
  • Imaging in total darkness
  • Imaging through smoke or fog
  • Intruder/personnel detection
  • Detection of hot (or cold) objects
  • Material differentiation

Hawk IR International is one of the worlds leading manufacturers of ATEX-certified thermal imaging camera systems, both fixed stations and handheld cameras. For more information, contact the company and ask to speak with an ATEX thermography expert.

Hawk IR International Ltd

117 High Street
TS11 6JX

+44 (0)1642 497000

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