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New thermal imaging system portraits everything


A small but surprisingly efficient and multi-purpose thermograph has been developed by Russian scientists. It helps to measure within seconds the temperature of surface in the most detailed way. It also assists in diagnosing – be it a pipeline or a human being. It is able of diagnosing any object if the processes taking place in it somehow affect the temperature of its different parts.

“Naturally, there are a lot of various thermovisors now in general, i.e. the devices which allow to visualize thermal field - says Mikhail Utkin, one of the authors of the development who represents it at the exhibition. – But the distinction of our device from its analogues lies in the fact that it is not simply a thermopvisor but a thermograph. This is a device that allows to measure to high precision the temperature of object’s surface. A small infrared-camera of our device (the size of a amateurish camera-recorder) is a precision mechano-optical scanner with an infrared-receiver. A number of know-hows applied to its construction allow to achieve high precision and sensitivity, and I would say photorealism of obtained thermal images.”

The developers did manage to produce a really multi-purpose device. On the one hand, it can measure different temperatures varying from minus 40 through plus 2,000 degrees C to within no worse than one degree. When temperatures which are close the human being’s body temperature are measured, the precision of temperature measurement is within hundredth fractions of a degree. On the other hand – such a thermograph is able to precisely collect a whole picture from individual snapshots. Therefore, it allows to investigate objects of practically any size, measuring the temperature of their surface with high precision and spatial resolution.

At the recent exhibition of inventions and innovations in Sokolniki “Archimedes-2006”, some visitors walked away from this stand confused and perplexed, and sometimes even frightened. Not all of them, of course. The majority of idle public was delighted and surprised at tremendous capabilities of the device, but the specialists were “engaged’ in contact with the devisers. However, one could understand the feeling of the sad ones. It is not frightful that your tooth is just about to ache – with a hole like that in the tooth you should have visited the doctor long ago but lack of time and laziness impeded it or you simply have no nerve to do that. It is far more unpleasant to learn casually, without any moral preparation, for example that it is better to urgently turn to an endocrinologist – as an object has appeared in the thyroid gland which strenuously furnishes circulation.

However, when it comes down to health of a human being or machinery, objective, precise and timely information is particularly necessary. Such information is provided by a device developed by specialists of the Moscow company ‘IRTIS”, the abbreviation standing for the English “InfraRed Thermal Imaging Systems”, simply speaking - IR-thermovisors.

Along with that, the subject of inquiry may be whatever. In a transformer, the device would instantly discover the sections of local overheating hidden from eyes, in a building – panels with disrupted heat insulation, in helicopter blades - microcracks, in the construction of railway bridge - loosened screws that rub against each other when a train passes along the bridge, and so on and so forth ad infinitum.

As per a medical room, or which is more valuable, the work of filed physician teams, the new thermograph will help to find the sections of irregular (inadequate or too strong) blood supply. Such checkup will take several minutes and would allow to diagnose more precisely, to discover the disease earlier and to thus provide the patient with more opportunities for a long and certainly happy, painless life.

Sergey Komarov | alfa
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