One part of climate studies is extensive statistical groundwork based on scientific imaging. Time lapse video recording is a tool to gather numerical data for subsequent analysis. Cloud research is one aspect of this topic.

When performed with common digital cameras, operating in the visual spectral region, the collected data are strongly affected by daytime‐related factors, for example by the incidence of light. Those factors can be easily avoided by using a thermal camera instead. Operating in the long‐wave infrared (7 … 14) μm, an uncooled system like the VarioCAM® HD head from InfraTec is a perfect system for 24/7 cloud pattern monitoring and recording. Professor David M. Holland from the New York University´s Center for Atmospheric Ocean Science chose InfraTec´s CLOUD‐SCAN solution for his statistical research on cloud motion and further statistical analysis.

The core of this system is a VarioCAM® HD head 800 as the only globally available uncooled radiometrically calibrated thermal camera with (1,024 × 768) infrared pixel. Such a large detector creating a batch of 786,432 data sets per image is perfectly suited for providing a solid base for the statistics to be done. The camera´s 15 mm wide‐angle lens provides a field‐of‐view covering (60.3 × 47)°. While the data can be collected via the InfraTec IRBIS® 3 software package, Prof. Holland and his colleagues also utilise the versatile 16‐bit ASCII export capability for subsequent handling in MATLAB routines.

Since the system is permanently mounted on top of a New York City university building in downtown Manhattan, an additional temperature‐regulated enclosure was designed for the VarioCAM® HD head 800. While the infrared camera is already quite a tough camera with its new industry‐level body, massive rainfall, snow or extended sunshine are not affecting the system´s long‐duration accuracy.

thermal imaging for climate research

The CLOUD‐SCAN system is mounted in addition to other weather monitoring equipment, but it is also prepared for trips to polar regions. The inherent long‐term stability of the VarioCAM® HD head design has been well proven in long‐term monitoring programs all around the world where thermal cameras need to operate for months or even years without interruption.

infrared camera VarioCAM HD head of InfraTec
VarioCAM® HD head 800

InfraTec Solution

New York University/Abu Dhabi

Thermography automation solution:
CLOUD‐SCAN with VarioCAM® HD head 800

Advantages of this Thermography Solutions in this Application

  • Further information about lenses

    High-performance Full Optics

    The high-quality f/1.0 precision optics stand out due to their first-class transmission and transmission quality and automatic lens detection. The range offers solutions for the exact measurement of microstructures including telephoto applications for measuring objects at great distances.

  • infrared camera VarioCAM HD head of InfraTec
    Further details about the light metal housing

    High-quality Light Metal Housing

    The very robust light metal housing is available with the protection degree IP67 and protects the camera against mechanical and thermal stress. In conjunction with protection degree preserving LEMO® connectors, it is excellently suited for use in harsh industrial environments. For applications under extreme environmental conditions, suitable protective housings are also available, e.g. made from stainless steel, which can optionally be equipped with a cooling and heating system.

  • InfraTec thermography - Geometrical Resolution

    Geometrical Resolution – Efficient Analysis of Complex Assemblies

    InfraTec's infrared cameras with cooled and uncooled detectors have native resolutions up to (1,920 × 1,536) IR pixels. Spatially high-resolution thermograms ensure that components and assemblies are imaged down to the smallest detail and thus defects can be reliably detected and precisely localised.

  • InfraTec thermography - Thermal resolution

    Thermal Resolution – Determination of Differences of Only a Few Millikelvin

    For detection of small temperature changes InfraTec's infrared cameras offer thermal resolutions up to < 15 mK in real-time operation. By using the Lock-in Thermography method it is possible to further increase this resolution significantly. For this purpose test objects are periodically excited and non-destructively examined for defects and irregularities.

Relevant Industries & Applications

  • thermal imaging for environmental studies
    Environmental Studies

    Environmental Studies

    Look for smallest temperature differences in landscapes, biotopes and labs using infrared camera models of highest measurement precision.