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Proceedings Paper

Twenty-five years of Thermosense: an historical and technological retrospective
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Paper Abstract

Infrared thermal sensing and imaging instruments, promoted by military interests as early as World War I, had evolved into serious industrial and energy conservation tools in the US by the late 1960s. The 'energy crunch' of the 1970s focused national attention on methods for saving energy. ThermoSense I, the 'First National Conference on the Capabilities and Limitations of Thermal Infrared Sensing Technology in Energy Conservation Programs' was held in 1978, sponsored by the American Society of Photogrammetry (ASP), the US Department of Energy (DOE) and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). As applications for these new and exciting photonics instruments broadened into new fields such as predictive maintenance, process control, materials testing and remote sensing, the conference broadened and expanded under the sponsorship of SPIE. In the year 2003 the ThermoSense conference is being held for the 25th time. This paper traces 25 years of evolution of the applications for infrared thermal sensors and imagers as well as the improvements, innovations and refinements to the instruments themselves. Finally, some projections are made for current and near future developments in the capabilities and markets for the technology.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 April 2003
PDF: 16 pages
Proc. SPIE 5073, Thermosense XXV, (1 April 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.484851
Show Author Affiliations
Robert P. Madding, Infrared Training Ctr., FLIR Systems, Inc. (United States)
Gary L. Orlove, Infrared Training Ctr., FLIR Systems, Inc. (United States)
Herbert Kaplan, Honeyhill Technical Co. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5073:
Thermosense XXV
K. Elliott Cramer; Xavier P. Maldague, Editor(s)

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