We do love our toys, but are they really helping? In the case of thermal imaging, absolutely. While "night vision" and other heat dependent electronics may not work for ghost hunting, they are essential for cryptozoology.
Thermal imaging is the product of studies involving Thermography. Infrared thermography (IRT), thermal imaging, and thermal video are all examples of infrared imaging science. Infrared radiation is emitted by anything with a temperature above absolute zero. Absolute zero occurs at a temperature of 0 degrees Kelvin, or -273.15 degrees Celsius, or at -460 degrees Fahrenheit. At that temperature there is no heat and movement, so virtually every living thing should be detectable with this technology. Typically, cameras detect radiation in the electromagnetic spectrum and produce images of that radiation, called thermograms
Thermography makes it possible to see one's environment with or without visible illumination. The amount of radiation emitted by an object increases with temperature, and each temperature shows up on thermograms as a different color. Humans and other warm-blooded animals become easily visible by day or night because they are warmer than their surroundings. With more specific equipment, physiological changes in human beings and other warm-blooded animals can also be monitored. Thermography is used for clinical diagnostics, allergy testing, veterinary medicine and mammography. It is also used to detect illness at airports and other ports of entry and in firefighting to see through smoke, find people and locate hot spots. Maintenance people use thermography to locate overheating joints and sections of power lines so they can be repaired before a catastrophic failure. Construction workers can see thermal signatures that indicate heat leak and improve insulation.
The equipment required is a camera and a screen. It can be done with still photography or live scenarios. It's important for fieldwork to also include the ability to record and save the collected data. This is not always built in.
The appearance and operation of a modern thermographic camera is often similar to a camcorder.
CCD and CMOS sensors mostly work in the visible light wavelength range. By utilizing the infrared spectrum called near-infrared (NIR or "trailing"), and by using an off-the-shelf CCTV camera, it is possible under certain circumstances to obtain true thermal images of objects with temperatures at about 280 °C (536 °F) or higher with good clarity and contrast.
Specialized thermal imaging cameras use focal plane arrays (FPAs). They respond to longer wavelengths like InSb, InGaAs, HgCdTe and QWIP FPA. The newest technologies use lower cost, uncooled microbolometers as FPA sensors but the resolution is much lower. Quality of resolution increases with the more expensive models but even the lowest cost ones are more expensive than traditional cameras. Higher-end models are often export-restricted due to the military uses for this technology. Some require cryogenic cooling to be functional.
Fortunately, while this is something to be considered in health diagnosis, it should not affect hunting for Fortean animals. We just don't need that level of sophistication. For an IR film to work thermographically, it must be over 250 °C (482 °F) or be reflecting infrared radiation from something that is at least that hot. Night vision infrared devices image just beyond the visual spectrum, and can see emitted or reflected near-infrared in complete darkness, but are not usually used for thermography due to the high temperature requirements. They are instead used with active near-IR sources. "Starlight-type" night vision devices generally only magnify ambient light. Both Starlight technology and digital night vision amplify whatever available light there is, while thermal-imaging (infrared) devices look at heat. Starlight technology is what most people think of when they talk about night vision. It does not work in complete darkness.Most of these devices also come with a built-in infrared (IR) illuminator that emits a beam of near-infrared light, invisible to our eyes, to illuminate the scene enough to be
Night vision devices come in three accepted generations of design. Components and technology remain mostly constant and the levels measures can be thought of as sophistication levels. Different design generations significantly differ in image quality, cost and capability. Newer technology, often called "Generation 4". Generation II, III and IV devices use a microchannel plate for amplification. Generation IV is more adaptable to changing light conditions. It also is a better ion barrier which decreases the number of electrons that are rejected by the others, resulting in less image noise. The disadvantage is the overall decrease in tube life but this is largely negated by the low number that reach 15000 h of operation before replacement.
Some countries regulate possession and or use of night-vision
The original purpose of night vision was to locate enemy targets. It is still used by the military for that purpose, as well as for navigation, surveillance and targeting. Police and security often use both thermal-imaging and image-enhancement technology, particularly for surveillance.
Some researchers claim that the use of IR or night vision tends to deter Bigfoot activity. They claim that they aware of it.
Primates are unique among in that they are able to see the red end of the light spectrum. Most all other mammals cannot see red, and no known mammal with night vision can see infrared light.
Some who work in the field assume trail cameras are omitting IR