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Thermal Applications for Search and Rescue


2 mins


Opgal staff writers

published published

January 16, 2016


Handheld / MobileLaw EnforcementSearch and Rescue

Thermal imaging cameras provide reliable real-time information to members of search and rescue teams. There are two outstanding options for using thermal technology in this sort of mission: a handheld thermal camera and an application that turns an Android phone into a similar camera.

Search and Rescue Teams Need a Compact Solution

Search and rescue teams have a need to be mobile as they search for their target, and a lightweight camera designed to provide information not available to the naked eye is a perfect companion. It is vital to have as much information as possible as the team goes into various locations—in open fields, warehouses, alleys—in the dark. Instead of working blind as used to be the case, search and rescue teams can do their job much more efficiently.

Thermal Imaging Technology Makes It Possible to See in Total Darkness

Night vision used to be the stuff of science fiction. Gradually, the military developed this technology and used it in many ways. Now that these products are being offered more widely, it is possible for almost anyone to “see” in complete darkness, as thermal imaging cameras do not need light to capture excellent images. Recently, there was a situation in Israel where three boys were kidnapped and murdered. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) used small drones equipped with thermal imaging cameras in their search for these victims. The drones helped to support the ground troops in the search and rescue operation.

Handheld Thermal Imaging Camera

Search and rescue teams are often in positions where they are required to view or search for people who are in total darkness. A thermal imaging camera, such as Opgal’s Sii HT Handheld infrared camera, can be invaluable in these situations because thermal cameras can be eyes in the dark. Everything—people and objects—emit heat or infrared radiation. The camera provides clear images because it detects this heat and with it creates images. The portability of the camera means personnel can turn the camera in any direction as they walk. The handheld thermal imaging camera has definitely moved into the arena of powerful search and rescue tools.

Therm-App™ Puts Thermal Imaging Technology in More Hands

Therm-App™ is another solution for search and rescue teams. It is an inexpensive way to ensure that more members of the team are able to have long-range night vision. Therm-App™ takes an ordinary Android smartphone and turns it into a powerful thermal camera. During the summer months law enforcement professionals expect a rise in the need for search and rescue missions because more people travel and hike during this time. Therm-App is a valuable tool in successfully locating lost children and adults.

Both the handheld camera and Therm-App are great partners in successful search and rescue operations.