Skip to comments.Thermal Imaging Gets More Common But The Courts Haven't Caught Up
Posted on 02/27/2014 3:54:22 PM PST by Theoria
Thermal imaging devices have been available for sale online, relatively cheaply, for at least a couple of years. But now, an iPhone attachment will let you carry a thermal imaging camera in your pocket. FLIR Systems, a specialized camera company, plans to release its thermal camera and app for iPhone for less than $350 this spring.
These devices which show you the image of what you are looking at but with colors highlighting heat levels from objects are getting easy to own and use. And that means consumers could use them to spot a water leak in the home, detect an early fever in a child, and even see animals or people moving at a distance through a dark area.
But it also raises an interesting legal question involving the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure.
In 2001, the Supreme Court held in Kyllo v. United States that police officers violated the Fourth Amendment when they used a thermal imaging device to detect marijuana plants growing inside a home. "Where ... the government uses a device that is not in general public use, to explore details of the home that would previously have been unknowable without physical intrusion, the surveillance is a Fourth Amendment 'search' and is presumptively unreasonable without a warrant," wrote Justice Antonin Scalia.
To make his point, Scalia added that the device can tell you things that the average person would not be able to tell standing outside the house. "[F]or example, [the device can reveal] at what hour each night the lady of the house takes her daily sauna and bath," he wrote.
(Excerpt) Read more at npr.org ...
FLIR Systems has introduced the first thermal imager designed for smartphones.
They have come a long way since I worked in the field.
This would be great for eliminating feral hogs.
I just bought one for a rifle. I believe it was $3500.
I think I would get a three hundred fifty dollar one and fabricate my own mount. Or, get with a machinist and fabricate a high pressure fifty caliber air gun and attatch it to that.
Then with servos you could harvest them on frozen winter nights with the cold to preserve the meat (although I guess you would still need to get out there and bleed them).
No pigs equals big gardens that are impractical with the current swine infestation.
I don’t see how they used this to detect marijuana plants. IR can’t see through glass. at all. Anything with a direct line-of-sight is all you can really see.
I dont see how they used this to detect marijuana plants.
They can see a room full of high intensity lighting.
Obviously fake ... the plume should be hotter than ambient.
The talk on the website where I found it is that it was from a Saturday Night Live skit, done with a spray can in the guy’s other hand. A real one could never blast through two sets of fabric like that.
Recoil would destroy a system not designed to take it only after a couple of shots.
FLIR (the type, not the company) systems (something I am EXTREMELY familiar with technically in aircraft aiming systems, as I work for a defense contractor) are a lot more fragile that one would think.
No they can’t. When you use a true IR device to look at a bright light, all you’ll see is a little speck (or nothing for LED or cold lighting). IR is a line-of-sight-to-solid that only sees HEAT, not visible light. This is why you can’t see through a clear window. The IR device will see the heat signature of the window. You can see a handprint if someone palms the window, because of the heat transfer to the outside of the glass, but anything inside doesn’t transfer in a line like visible light. Even with plant lighting that generates a lot of heat, all you can detect from the outside with IR is that one room of the house is warmer than the others. That doesn’t imply marijuana. The only possible way they could see something inside the house would be if someone left a door/window open, in which case thermal signatures would only be more useful at night in the dark, than if they just looked in.
High-intensity lighting would be detected much easier by a normal camera (or naked eye), and still wouldn’t imply marijuana unless you actually saw the plants inside.
OK then ... If it doesn’t work then why are all of the sheriffs helicopters equipped with IR and thermal imaging... and the info gathered is used to make raids on grow houses? (and has been used for that purpose for at least 15 years in my area)
Helicopters with IR are very useful for finding people hiding in a field or anywhere outside (day or night). A person trying to hide is still very visible in IR. And any camera is a thermal imager, they simply vary from which wavelengths they are sensitive to. IR lets you see differences in thermal radiation(in the infrared spectrum), which, given the circumstances, can stand out versus visible light. But they can’t see through solid objects. (Excepting special materials like their lenses.)
If I wear all black, and stand against a black wall, you’ll have trouble seeing me. But an infrared camera can easily spot me.
If I set a bright orange ball against the wall, with the same temperature as the wall, you can easily see it, but with an IR camera would be near impossible to spot.
Can you tell how full a water tower is? With IR cameras, you can see the temp difference where the water line is, and tell. It’ll be more distinct in later day, after the sun has heated the empty top more. It’ll be less easy to tell in the early morning, when the top will be similar to the temperature of the wall where the water is.
What can see through glass, however, is what most people know of as ‘nods’, or the night-vision that gives an all-green image. These aren’t IR, however, they simply use electronic magnification to add contrast to a low-light situation. They can’t see in complete dark, while an IR camera can. It’s all about the different wavelengths of light the cameras’ sensors are sensitive to.
The recoil would destroy the average flir after a couple of shots.
Sorry, just realized I already gave a more-detailed answer!
For an air gun I rather envision a heavier than needed receiver milled out of a block of steel with a large gas cylinder attached. Since my goal is to have it sit in one place and aim it with servo motors it probably would be wasted effort to make a slim design suitable for hand carry.
Being heavy and attached to a stationary post out in a field where the pigs are would pretty much eliminate recoil problems.
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