Thermographers have always wanted an infrared camera that produces images with both a wide field of view (FOV) and detailed spatial resolution. An infrared-only camera with this combination is prohibitively expensive for most applications. A less expensive way of providing both features in a single camera is to blend a wide FOV visible image with a smaller FOV infrared image. The major benefit of this combination is that thermographers can pinpoint and identify infrared problem areas in a clear visible picture. A commercial camera with this innovative IR/visible fusion technology was introduced in the paper "Commercial Fusion Camera" presented at the ThermoSense XXVIII (Volume 6205, paper 6205-18, 2005) Maintenance technicians now have a direct correlation between a visible picture and an infrared identified problem area. Building inspectors can use this technology to advantage in negotiating and litigating problems.
This paper reports progress on applications since the presentation of last year's paper, and illustrates new thermography examples that benefit from this cost-effective approach to thermal image fusion.
A new commercial camera with IR-FusionTM blends visible and infrared images into a single image.
It uses a novel, low-cost, patent pending approach to solve the parallax problem and results in a
camera with the image sharpness and clarity of a standard digital visible camera and the temperature
measurement of an infrared camera. The camera can operate in three modes; 1) full screen visible,
infrared or blended, 2) partial infrared image in a full screen visible image (picture-in-picture) and
3) infrared color alarm in a visible image. With the use of a laser pointer the camera operator can
precisely identify locations on the target that correspond to specific points in the infrared image.