Sofradir EC, Inc., an infrared imaging product developer, announced the issuance of United States Patent No. 7,820,967. The patent describes the use of a customized laser pointer used in portable infrared cameras where the location of the illuminated laser spot always corresponds to a measurement point on the infrared camera’s thermal display.
The new invention overcomes the parallax errors associated with prior solutions since it is not affected by the varying distance between the camera and object under observation. The new invention describes a method whereby infrared camera operators can use a laser to point at an object and immediately read the temperature of that object on the thermal image display. This permits the processing of inspections very quickly and accurately. For infrared cameras having single laser pointers with narrow light sources, there may be an unknown position offset between the location of the projected laser spot and a measurement location on the thermal display. This may result in an error made by the camera operator since the location of the laser spot does not correspond to the location of a measurement spot on the thermal display. As such, the location of hot spots may be incorrectly identified.
In one embodiment of the invention, a portable infrared camera can project two laser line segments onto an area of interest where the location that the laser line projections intersect corresponds to the same location as a crosshair shown on the camera’s thermal display. This would be the case independent of the distance between the camera and the objects. Since visible light cameras are often used to correlate the infrared image with a more familiar visible light image, the laser projection will be shown in the visible image as well and will be aligned with the measurement cross hair on the thermal image thus correlating the two locations perfectly.
The invention has been incorporated into the HotShot Thermal Imaging cameras produced by Sofradir EC and is denoted as LazIR-X. The system can apparently be economically produced and once aligned does not require further maintenance. The company seeks to license the invention to other infrared camera producers.
Company Background Headquartered in Fairfield, New Jersey, Sofradir EC, Inc. is a member of the Sofradir Group of companies. Sofradir EC designs and manufactures advanced thermal imaging, infrared and night vision systems for use in a wide range of imaging applications. Since 1969, the company has maintained its focus on delivering unique products for infrared and low-light imaging. The Electrophysics group continues to offer a product line of scientific imaging systems, night vision modules and portable infrared inspection cameras.
“R.A.I.” the Reliability.aiTMChatbot
You can ask "R.A.I." anything about maintenance, reliability, and asset management.