What is the best thermal imager? To answer this simple question, one must understand the principles of thermal imaging. From these principles, the optimized solution can be defined for the different stakeholders.

From user perspective, the thermal imager should have a simple user interface which generates the best image in terms of range performance, field of view and image quality. Operational requirements also imply functionalities such as GPS, DMC, LRF, daylight channel, connectivity etc..  The thermal imager should be lightweight with low power consumption and with minimum startup time.

Some functionalities may have huge impact on acquisition costs, but also the exploitation and disposal costs determine the total cost of ownership of a thermal imager. For example, a high performance thermal imager implies a cooled engine; a cooled engine has impact on user aspects such as startup time, noise, weight, power consumption but also on reliability. Replacement of a cooled detector is quite expensive with a given turn around time. Another question which is relevant is: what maintenance is done at what premises?

In other words, a good overview is essential to assist the project managers and decision-makers in making the most cost-effective decision. Modelling a thermal imager helps to define the optimum definition and choice of a thermal imager. A model can also be very useful to compare or benchmark several thermal imagers to each other, in terms of performance and/or costs. The model gives insight in range performance and its limiting factors and also the impact on life cycle cost.

The model uses common or dedicated criteria for modelling targets, observer performance and user profiles. In this way, the user can get insight in range limiting factors, such as target- and background data, atmospheric parameters, components and user aspects. The model can also help in estimating the total cost of ownership.

Need more information about thermal imaging, or do you need advice for the selecting process or do you need a dedicated training for your organisation? Please contact us for personalised advice.