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Proceedings Paper

Thermal image analysis for detecting facemask leakage
Author(s): Jonathan B. Dowdall; Ioannis T. Pavlidis; James Levine
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Paper Abstract

Due to the modern advent of near ubiquitous accessibility to rapid international transportation the epidemiologic trends of highly communicable diseases can be devastating. With the recent emergence of diseases matching this pattern, such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), an area of overt concern has been the transmission of infection through respiratory droplets. Approved facemasks are typically effective physical barriers for preventing the spread of viruses through droplets, but breaches in a mask’s integrity can lead to an elevated risk of exposure and subsequent infection. Quality control mechanisms in place during the manufacturing process insure that masks are defect free when leaving the factory, but there remains little to detect damage caused by transportation or during usage. A system that could monitor masks in real-time while they were in use would facilitate a more secure environment for treatment and screening. To fulfill this necessity, we have devised a touchless method to detect mask breaches in real-time by utilizing the emissive properties of the mask in the thermal infrared spectrum. Specifically, we use a specialized thermal imaging system to detect minute air leakage in masks based on the principles of heat transfer and thermodynamics. The advantage of this passive modality is that thermal imaging does not require contact with the subject and can provide instant visualization and analysis. These capabilities can prove invaluable for protecting personnel in scenarios with elevated levels of transmission risk such as hospital clinics, border check points, and airports.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 March 2005
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 5782, Thermosense XXVII, (28 March 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.601177
Show Author Affiliations
Jonathan B. Dowdall, Univ. of Houston (United States)
Ioannis T. Pavlidis, Univ. of Houston (United States)
James Levine, Mayo Clinic (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5782:
Thermosense XXVII
G. Raymond Peacock; Douglas D. Burleigh; Jonathan J. Miles, Editor(s)

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