FLIR thermal imaging camera helps homeowners, military, law enfo - KPTV - FOX 12

FLIR thermal imaging camera helps homeowners, military, law enforcement

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Thermal imaging technology made by a Wilsonville company is becoming more useful for keeping homes energy efficient, and helps law enforcement at night.

FLIR, or Forward Looking Infrared, started in 1978.

The camera company offers dozens of products with a variety of uses.

"The military uses the technology to essentially enhance their vision oftentimes from an airborne vantage point but sometimes it will be from a vehicle or even a boat. It allows them to see longer ranges through any kind of atmospheric conditions that may exist," said Travis Merrill.

Law enforcement agencies around the country use the cameras on their choppers, and the Boston Marathon bombing suspect was found this way.

As the technology continues to get better, they can fly higher, zoom in, and identify suspects easier than ever before.

“We search for suspects missing, endangered, juveniles, adults, calls of that nature with the infrared camera mostly at night time," said Sergeant Langiotti.

Because of the lowering cost of infrared technology, there are cameras that can attach to your smart phone.

You can also find hidden issues like moisture, mold, and electrical or energy inefficiencies such as missing insulation or window leaks.

Animals or insects living behind walls can be detected as well.

“Thermal imaging is a super power. It's really different from other imaging in that it can see in total darkness, it allows you to distinguish people and animals from other objects, you can see through things like smoke and haze and rain and it's incredibly useful," said Merrill.

The FLIR smartphone attachment also has uses for outdoor recreation. You can observe wildlife and navigate hiking trails in complete darkness.

 To learn more about infrared technology, or take an online class, you can visit

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