6 Practical Uses for an Infrared Temperature Sensor

infrared temperature gun
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An infrared temperature sensor can be used for many different applications. While the military and astronomers use them for very sophisticated applications, such as guidance systems and looking into space, there are other everyday uses for these sensors. Infrared temperature refers to heat and this type of light cannot be seen by the naked eye. Almost everything will give off some type of infrared light.

1 - Manufacturing

One of the main everyday uses of an infrared temperature sensor is in product manufacturing. An infrared sensor will ensure machines are all working at optimal performance. This type of constant monitoring helps to increase productivity as well as ensure all products are produced at the highest possible quality.

An excellent example is a temperature sensor found in your car. If the engine heats up too much then this can damage parts of the engine. Therefore you will get a warning when temperatures climb too high.

2 - Telecommunications

holding remote for a fireplace

There is a specific type of short range communication that uses infrared. These are typically found indoors in areas that have a high density of individuals. It will not go through walls so it can be contained. One such example of an infrared communication is your television remote control. The communication is a laser beam of infrared light and when it hits the receiver the appliance will change such as changing channels, remotes and turning on or off.

3 - The Weather

This type of infrared sensor is also found frequently in weather satellites. It can produce images based on the infrared temperature which can provide information on clouds, surface water temperature, land temperature and to locate ocean surface features.

The different types of clouds will provide different readings so you can discern between Stratus or Cirrus clouds. The one problem with this type of use is that fog can confuse the sensor. Additionally if the land and water temperatures are similar then the satellite may not be able to distinguish the difference.

4 - Infrared in Art

While not everyone may use this infrared function, it can be used to examine artworks. It is possible to determine if there is an underlying picture underneath the top layer. This is mainly used for authentication, but can also provide information on how the artist worked. Many art insurance companies will use this process.

5 - Motion Detector

A passive infrared sensor is at the heart of motion detectors. This type of detector will pick up the infrared radiation from objects that cross its path. Basically the infrared will enter the sensor. If the infrared temperature matches a set range for intruders then an alarm will sound. Most people will set the sensor to pick up human heat. A really good sensor will be able to filter out dogs and other animals.

6 - Non Contact Points

There are also some situations in which contact sensors cannot be used. This may be due to the environment or just the placement of the object. In this case, an infrared sensor can be used to determine the temperature. You can get a temperature reading immediately as these sensors have the fastest response time. This is perfect for high voltage areas, moving objects and high temperatures where contact thermometers do not work.