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Troubleshooting tool bridges the gap between thermometers and thermal imagers

11 January, 2013

Fluke has developed a troubleshooting instrument that, it says, bridges the gap between single-point infrared thermometers and high-resolution thermal imagers. According to the company, the new VT02 “visual IR thermometer” combines the visual insight of a thermal imager, the images of a digital camera, and the point-and-shoot convenience of an IR (infrared) thermometer.

The compact tool (above), which produces an infrared heat map, is designed for applications where a single-spot temperature reading is not enough, but a high-resolution thermal image would be more than the user needs.

The device is said to be faster to use than an IR thermometer, which usually needs multiple readings and results to be recorded manually. It detects problems instantly using a blend of thermal and digital imagery. It can display and save images as full visual, full infrared, or in three blended modes (25, 50, and 75%). Markers pinpoint hot and cold spots in the image, indicating the hottest temperature with a red box and the coldest with a blue box. A temperature reading is provided at the centre point.

The images can be saved to a micro-SD memory card, eliminating the need to write down measurements. The images can be exported to Fluke’s SmartView analysis and reporting software (provided with the VT02) to document any problems detected or repairs made.

The focus-free IR thermometer uses an extremely thin pyroelectric technology that allowed Fluke’s developers to produce an array dense enough to create an infrared heat map. It is said to be easier to manufacture than traditional thermal imagers.

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