Cooled Vs Uncooled Infrared Thermal Imaging Cameras

Discover The Difference!

FLIR Technical Note HeaderMeer, Belgium -A technical note from FLIR Systems addresses the commonly posed question “There is plenty of choice of thermal imaging cameras for R&D and scientific applications, for which applications should I use a cooled or an uncooled system?”

For many years, thermal imaging cameras have been used by scientists, researchers and R&D specialists for a wide range of applications, including industrial R&D, academic research, non-destructive and materials testing as well as defence and aerospace.

The authors of the technical note discuss how uncooled thermal cameras are generally much less expensive than cooled cameras and with fewer moving parts they tend to have much longer service lives than cooled cameras under similar operating conditions.

However, not all thermal cameras offer the same capabilities, and for some applications the inherent performance advantages of a cooled detector are beneficial.

The technical note offers an explanation of these performance advantages and also application examples. It addresses why if you want to see minute temperature differences, need the best image quality, have fast moving or heating targets, need to see the thermal profile or measure the temperature of a very small target, want to visualize thermal objects in a very specific part of the electromagnetic spectrum, or if you want to synchronize your thermal imaging camera with other measuring devices, then a cooled thermal imaging camera is the instrument of choice.

To download a copy of this technical note please visit or contact FLIR Systems on telephone +32-3665-5100 or email Media inquiries can be directed to Dr Bill Bradbury on +44-208-546-0869

FLIR Systems, Inc. is a world leader in the design, manufacture, and marketing of sensor systems that enhance perception and awareness. FLIR’s advanced thermal imaging and threat detection systems are used for a wide variety of imaging, thermography, and security applications, including airborne and ground-based surveillance, condition monitoring, research and development, manufacturing process control, search and rescue, drug interdiction, navigation, transportation safety, border and maritime patrol, environmental monitoring, and chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosives (CBRNE) detection.

For more information, go to FLIR’s web site at

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