Search and Rescue

Humans and other living mammals usually radiate more heat than their surroundings --especially in the cooler ambient air of the night. Infrared cameras are particularly useful for detecting people and animals during the darkness of night. In search and rescue operations, infrared detectors are used to find people lost in thick foliage and deep canyons, as well as in poor visibility conditions such as thick fog, smoke, and heavy snow. Marine vessels can use infrared sensors to find marine disaster survivors in the water during both day and evening searches. Infrared technology plays an important role in searching for human survivors of buildings that collapsed in earthquakes.

Courtesy of Raytheon Commercial Infrared

This image depicts a simulation of a person at sea in need of rescue. The next time you are on a boat at sea, note how the sky and sea conditions conspire to make it difficult to identify a potential victim, especially if the wind produces choppy waves. An IR camera can easily detect the heat of a person with relative ease.

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