While at FLIR Systems in Täby, Sweden last week for the ITC User Conference, I came across this on display in the main lobby that I just had to share as a “Throwback Thursday” item. It’s an AGA Thermovision 651, the world’s first commercial infrared system from the mid-1960s.
The device used liquid nitrogen to cool the detector and worked with a display that was a modified oscilloscope. The camera had a field of view of 5˚ x 5˚, a thermal sensitivity of 0.2˚C (0.36˚F) and a frame rate of 16 Hz. Total weight, including all necessary accessories (tripod, oscilloscope, etc.) exceeded 110lbs (50kg)!
Thermal imagers certainly have come a long way since then, but having the chance to see this in person really makes me appreciate what we have for options in the marketplace today.