Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by nonsqtr, Mar 18, 2005.

  1. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    What exactly does a forward-looking infrared camera do? Is it true they can see through walls and roofs and such?
  2. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    Builds up a good investment portfolio?
  3. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
    A forward looking infrared (FLIR) system is a television camera that takes pictures in infrared. It is used to help pilots steer their vehicles at night, and in fog.

    There are two basic ranges of infra-red. Ten micrometre cameras, or "far infra-red" can see engine exhaust, or human body heat a few miles away, but longer distance views become very fuzzy because the infra-red light is absorbed by the air.

    Four micrometre infra-red can see almost as well, and is far less absorbed by air, but requires a much more expensive sensor array, and lower-teperature cooling.

    Many FLIR systems use digital image processing to improve the image quality. The FLIR sensor arrays often have inconsistent responses from pixel to pixel. To fix this, the response of each pixel is measured at a the factory, and a linear transform maps the measured brightness.

    FLIRs are often used in fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, and armored fighting vehicles. In warfare, they have two large advantages. First, the enemy cannot detect one. Second, they see heat, and see through fog.

    See also: Infra-red search and track

    From that, I would gather no, they can't see through things, per se.
  4. Super Duck and Smash beat me to it.

    I think one of the earliest uses of the FLIR system was on B-52G bombers back in the 80s so they could fly around at night and/or in bad weather very low to the ground.

    I haven't watched any of my Wings tapes in years. Anyone remember that show on TLC? :cool:

  5. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Yeah, I guess it's the "human body heat" part I was asking about. Rumor has it these FLIR devices can tell how many people are in a building, and where they are, from ten or twenty thousand feet up.
  6. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    We use it for SAR - two of the State helos are equipped, and we can call them in for an assist. It makes it easier to find a recently dead body in cornfields...
  7. DougP


    Sep 4, 2001
    Foward Looking means it is placed into an airborne platform (helo, airplane) so that the pilot can follow the terrain of the earth in almost total darkness. The Far Infra-Red is usually used to detect heat signatures. Near Infra-Red is for things like TV remotes.

    it doesnt have to be a FLIR system to be used for seeing body heat. its just a means for aiming the system.

    even with ~1970's technology from the SR-71, they could pickout license plates at high altitudes and speeds. combine that with modern Infra-Red and you could roughly get the same results.

    "Whew! what happened? i think i blacked out there for a second."