Infrared Training Center

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Best of InfraMation: “Cold Air in Boston” - Paper Download

Thursday, December 18thcold-air-boston-sawyer-IR-thumb-jpeg[1]

2:00 p.m. EST (-5 UTC)

Guest Presenter – Dave Sawyer

Click Here to Download the Paper

Click Here for FREE Webinar Registration

Originally presented at InfraMation 2010, Dave Sawyer of Sawyer Infrared returns for a special live webinar featuring two case studies involving clients of his from the Boston area who dealt with building performance issues. We’ll also talk to Dave about some of his more interesting experiences in thermography, how he got started in the business, what he enjoys most about the technology and how it helps him on the job.

To register for this and other free live webcasts from ITC, please visit:

Thursday, November 20, 2014

New Online Course - WEB-SW35 - Creating a Field Assignment using FLIR Tools

One of the requirements for obtaining an ITC certification after completing an ITC course is demonstrating your ability to operate, diagnose, and produce a report using your infrared camera and software.
This short course describes a step by step procedure for producing a basic field assignment using the standard FLIR Tools software suite. This course is FREE for all students.
Link to the Course Home Page

Thursday, November 13, 2014

A Level III Class Gets Schooled…by the Banquet Staff

Ronald D. Lucier, ASNT NDT Level III

level-III-thumbLast month I was conducting a Level III class at the Orleans Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV. If you aren’t familiar with the facility it is a wonderful place to conduct meetings. The staff is great, food is overwhelming and the rooms are inexpensive and clean. Plus the hotel has many restaurants, a movie theater, a bowling alley and of course a casino. It has been an ITC favorite for over 10 years.

Lately, though, we have been having issues with the meeting room, specifically the temperature.  The past couple times I’ve taught there it has been very cold and students have complained.  Now, I like my hotel room cold enough to hang meat, but 63˚F (17.2˚C) is a bit extreme for conducting a meeting unless you are in Antarctica, which we were not. 

Once again, we were having the same issues…

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Throwback Thursday – AGA Thermovision 651

IMG_3099While 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.

IMG_3102 IMG_3100

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

2200 m/s Neutron - How I Got Into Infrared Thermography

ron-lucier-croppedITC Senior Instructor Ron Lucier is back with another blog, this time reflecting on how he got started in infrared thermography.  Like many of us in the industry, he unexpectedly caught the “IR bug” while doing something completely different:

What do thermal neutrons and infrared thermography have in common? Not much of anything and that was the point! After punching cards for our FORTRAN programs to model the reactor at the Yankee Rowe Nuclear plant for several years I was quite bored. Often I would walk through the plant and wonder what a Mechanical Engineer is doing programming anyway? What’s all this equipment and why is it so hot? I understood the reactor side of the plant but not the steam side.

So I started asking questions…

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

UAV Demonstration at ITC User Conference 2014

UAV DemoWe’re in Sweden for the 2014 ITC User Conference running today and tomorrow.  This two-day event features new product demonstrations, educational paper presentations and lots of great networking opportunities.  A number of professional thermographers from around the world are present including technicians, engineers, scientists, and users of all types of thermal imaging equipment. 

More details are available from the conference website:

Of interest today, live demonstrations with IR equipped UAVs during an exhibitor showcase held this afternoon:

Look for additional updates via our Facebook and Twitter feeds both later today and tomorrow.


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

New ITC Hot Spot: “Ghostly” Infrared Myths

The Infrared Training Center addresses some possible “ghostly” myths in this new ITC Hot Spot. See how some common thermal patterns could possibly be mistaken for apparitions when hunting ghosts with a thermal imager. From warm IR signatures caused by thermal reflections to cool patterns created by evaporation, it appears that sometimes the simplest explanation of what we’re seeing thermally might be the most likely when hunting ghosts with an infrared camera:

Friday, October 17, 2014

New Online Course - Elevated Body Temperature Screening Basics

Infrared thermography is a valuable tool for screening people in order to find individuals who have a body surface temperature that is elevated above the average of the general population. The use of an infrared camera should be adjunctive to other screening procedures.

ITC’s online course “Elevated Body Temperature Screening Basics” is designed to enable operators to use an infrared camera properly for the purpose of elevated temperature screening. The course does not depend on the type of camera, and the course will not teach you about all the features and operation of your particular camera, unless it is combined with one of the FLIR/ITC training courses for camera operation. The course will, however, teach you camera operation in general, and the functions and features that are recommended for use in elevated temperature screening.
Click the link below to go to the course home page.
WEB-TH60 - Elevated Body Temperature Screening Basics

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Using IR With a Blower Door

Free White Paper – Click Here to Download

vics-blowerdoor-thumbThermal imaging has become an invaluable tool in the specialized field of energy auditing and building diagnostics. By itself, an infrared camera only tells half the story. The use of a blower door in conjunction with a thermal imager can help you locate areas of air infiltration throughout the building envelope that are not necessarily going to be detected under the natural stack effect.

This complimentary paper, originally presented at InfraMation 2009, explains how working with a blower door helps building thermographers get better, and more consistent, results in the field.

To learn more about InfraMation 2015 (and possibly submit a paper presentation of your own for consideration), please visit

Friday, October 10, 2014

Best of InfraMation Live Webcast: Cold Air in Boston

Thursday, December 18thcold-air-boston-sawyer-IR-thumb-jpeg

2:00 p.m. EST (-5 UTC)

Guest Presenter – Dave Sawyer

Click Here for FREE Registration

Originally presented at InfraMation 2010, Dave Sawyer of Sawyer Infrared returns for a special live webinar to present his paper from the conference proceedings. It features two case studies involving clients of his from the Boston area who dealt with building performance issues.

One was an upscale restaurant experiencing cold air infiltration that was caused patron discomfort and increasing heating costs for the owners. The other, a large grocery store, was concerned that a number of freezers situated outside the building might be losing precious cold air. In both instances, thermal imaging revealed problems that would not have been detected with other test methods.

To register for this and other free live webcasts from ITC, please visit:

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Ghost in the…Refractory?

With Halloween coming up in a few weeks, we’ve got a fun “ghost hunter” video that we’re putting the final touches on which I think you’ll enjoy.  Keep an eye out for it right before the end of the month. Until then, on a related note, a thermographer from a recent ITC training course sent in this gem of a find.



ITC Instructor John Waggoner received these images from Craig Dickey.  Craig was conducting a furnace inspection at the time when he came across this unusual thermal pattern while scanning around the access door.  I guess IR really CAN be used to find ghosts or, in this case, perhaps some type of thermal spirit of refractory inspections past?

It got me thinking, have any of you found similar? Perhaps an interesting IR pattern that caught you by surprise, maybe something that wasn’t obvious visually, but jumped right out at you thermally? Share it on our Facebook page and I’ll post it to the InformIR blog as well with a photo credit.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Spicy Side of Infrared Training

st-elmo-04The first time I tried the Shrimp Cocktail at St. Elmo Steak House in Indianapolis, let’s just say I wasn’t smiling, at least not initially.  That’s not to say it’s a terrible appetizer.  It’s actually quite good…just very hot! (although this thermal image says otherwise). 

The cocktail sauce contains so much horseradish that it is barely even red, more like a light pink, but that can be difficult to discern in the low light of the restaurant (which I think they do on purpose to help hide the sauce’s true power, but I can’t prove it!). 

st-elmo-01At the time it was my first St. Elmo experience and I didn’t know then that the restaurant is famous for it…and the heat it brings when an amateur patron scoops up too much of it for their first bite.  The upside, any sinus issues I might have been experiencing at the time were immediately cured. 

This time I was prepared, and while in town last week for a Level I thermography course, I had to stop by and try it again.  Dinner at St. Elmo is a must for anyone who travels to Indianapolis looking for a great meal and a relaxing evening, especially after a full day of infrared training.  I look forward to returning.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Using IR to Locate Water Damage from Plumbing Leaks

FLIR0031Not a thermal pattern one wants to see on the ceiling of their first floor bathroom, especially when there’s a second floor vanity located right above it.

It’s a confirmed moisture problem that I discovered over the weekend which may be related to the drain pipe failing.  The upside: a nice little case study on IR & moisture that I can use for the blog! 

Stay tuned, I’m calling the plumber. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

An ITC Hot Spot: Focus (Video)

In a previous ITC Hot Spot we discussed the impact that Thermal Capacitance has on thermographers.  Now, this first video in a series of segments that we’re producing on image quality, we address focus and how it can negatively affect our ability to discern important thermal details and measure accurate temperatures if not adjusted properly:

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Old Lady and the Shrew

Free White Paper – Click Here to Download

shrewThermal imaging is a valuable tool for the restoration contractor, allowing them to locate problems and possibly avoid destructive remediation work. The ability to detect and pinpoint damage quickly can also help minimize the scope of work required, saving the client both time and money.

This complimentary paper, originally presented at InfraMation 2008, explains one such use of the technology by a restoration contractor that also includes a special encounter with a certain “resident” of a house that you’ll enjoy reading about.

Over the next several months we’ll be offering a number of additional free InfraMation-related resources for thermographers as ITC gets ready for the 2015 InfraMation conference in Nashville, Tennessee May 11-14. Look for conference papers such as this one, live webcasts of past conference presentations and special registration offers!

To learn more about InfraMation 2015 (and possibly submit a paper presentation of your own for consideration), please visit

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

New Online Course - Emissivity Explained in Plain English

Give us 10 minutes, and we will help you understand the basics of Emissivity, a key parameter needed for accurate measurement as well as thermal image interpretation.
At the conclusion of this course, learners will be able to:
  • Explain the basic nature of Emissivity
  • Describe its importance for image interpretation and measurement
  • Identify a few high and low emissivity surfaces
Link to the Course Home Page

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Emissivity of a Bees’ Nest?

Level III student Gabe Peer of Travis Electric Company in Nashville, TN recently sent his instructor, Ron Lucier, a set of images he took of a disconnect on a roof unit.  It turns out disconnects on 10 of the 11 units present on this particular roof contained some kind of nest!

Which begs the question…any guesses on what emissivity to use if your fuses are covered with a wasps’ nest? Does it even matter?  All joking aside, I know that a number of thermographers out there have had similar, less-than-pleasant, encounters with wildlife while in the field.  As if dealing with PPE isn’t enough to worry about, from insects, to rodents to reptiles there’s always the potential for a nice surprise to jump out at us from under an electrical cover.

IR_2621 DC_2622

So, for our readers, curious what you have encountered? Anything that you would like to share? Please feel free to comment below or send in your best story with images and/or video and we’ll post it too.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

New Online Course - Reflected Apparent Temperature Made Simple

Give us 10 minutes, and we will help you understand the term Reflected Temperature, a key parameter needed for accurate measurement as well as thermal image interpretation.
At the conclusion of this course, learners will be able to:
  • Define Reflected Apparent Temperature (Treflected)
  • Describe why its important
  • Explain how Treflected is measured
  • Demonstrate how the parameter is entered into an infrared camera
  • Select the correct Treflected measurement method for several scenarios
Link to the Course Home Page.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

InfraMation Call for Papers. Get Your Abstracts Ready!

InfraMation 2015 LogoInfraMation 2015 is now less than a year away and there’s no time like the present to seriously consider sharing your expertise on the issues facing today’s thermography professionals. Clinics, presentations, and poster sessions all originate with you so FLIR and ITC are calling for your papers now for InfraMation 2015.

We are thrilled to be bringing the conference to the heart of Music City in Nashville, Tennessee. Along with the opportunity to help others succeed in building diagnostics and condition monitoring infrared, those with valuable insight into optical gas imaging and research and science thermography, are strongly encouraged to participate!

Start here to submit your abstract:

If you haven’t submitted an abstract before, then I hope you’ll do so this year. Here are just some of the benefits of being a presenter or instructor at InfraMation:

  • Qualify for a deeply discounted conference registration fee and/or honorarium
  • Identify yourself as an infrared thermal imaging expert in your field
  • Earn valuable certification renewal credits

Whatever your thermal imaging know-how, there’s an interested audience at InfraMation. From building investigations to electrical and mechanical monitoring to R&D and OGI to thermography program management and marketing, attendees are always riveted and appreciative.

Not planning to submit an abstract this year? Then be sure to register for the conference right away to take advantage of the incredible Early Bird Special pricing still available.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Just Scrape and Paint…or Not!

ITC instructor Ron Lucier is back with another great post, one that I can certainly relate to having recently moved from an old house that once had similar moisture issues.  Yes, they can be fun to renovate, but older homes are not for everyone, especially when a lot a scraping and painting (or worse) is involved.  Here’s Ron’s take on something that he recently dealt with at his house which also includes a couple of infrared images and some thermal science that our building thermographers should enjoy:

Renovating older homes can be fun. Or not. One thing for sure is they are full of surprises and expensive!

I own a horse farm and the house was built in 1910. Not sure when the porch was added but I noticed the other day that it is the only section of the house that doesn’t have rain gutters (ugh!). I also noticed that one section has paint that was peeling while the other areas of the fascia did not.

An inspection with my T650sc was in order. Yes, I am hung up on the grey scale and in the first image I used a blue interval isotherm. I have water damage:


Looking under the soffit…

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Basics of Heat Capacitance (Video)

Matt Schwoegler, Infrared Training Center

Heat capacitance, the ability of a material to store thermal energy, often affects what we see with an infrared camera.  While this property of matter is what makes some IR applications possible, it can also hide more critical issues that a thermographer may dismiss, or simply miss, if they don't understand the science behind what is happening.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Online Thermography Basics Course Updated


This course is a more advanced introductory course in thermography and serves as an excellent, and recommended, addition to the infrared camera basics and infrared basics courses. Thermography involves more than just learning how to use an infrared camera. IR science, heat transfer, thermal tuning, and application knowledge are all essential subjects a thermographer must understand in order to properly interpret an image.

This course will give the learner the basic information to understand these concepts.
Accreditation: 2.5 ITC Certification Renewal Credits, 2 RCI Continuing Educational Hours (CEHs)
Note: You can stop the course and re-enter exactly where you left off at a later time or day, you don't have to complete the course in one sitting.

Link to the course

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Live Webcasts Now Scheduled Through September 2014

ElectricalOur series of free live webcasts continues with dates set through the end of September.  We're getting lots of positive feedback from thermographers who have attended these sessions and appreciate everyone’s interest!

ITC’s live and on-demand webinars are designed for those that are new to thermography or perhaps need a quick refresher.  Participants learn not only the basics of thermal imaging, but also where IR can reduce costs, save energy and increase safety for professionals across a variety of industries.

Registration is available at where you’ll also find the on-demand recordings posted from past live events which can be viewed at any time.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

IR on Electric Motors: Great for the Plant…and at Home Too!

It’s no secret that infrared can be used to diagnose problems with electric motors in industry, but residential applications? As ITC Instructor Ron Lucier recently discovered, possibilities exist at home as well, this one involving his pool pump motor:

Returning from a recent Level III class in Nashua I heard an awful noise in my backyard when I stepped out of my car. Pretty quickly I determined it was my pool pump motor (1 horsepower). What a racket. Sounded like just a bearing so I brought out my trusty vibration acceleration detector: a screwdriver. Measuring at each bearing of the motor and the pump I didn’t feel very much. However, I noticed a black spot on the side of the gold painted motor. It was time to get out the IR camera: my brand new FLIR T650sc.

I would find out the next day that the long wave emissivity for this paint is 0.91 so making the correction the hot spot was about 201 F! Good thing that I didn’t try to touch it!


Thursday, June 19, 2014

FLIR Tools Online Course Updated

FLIR Tools is a software suite specifically designed to provide an easy way to update your infrared camera and create inspection reports. There is NO CHARGE for this FREE course.

At the conclusion of this course, learners will be able to:
  • Describe how to import images from a FLIR camera to the FLIR Tools library using the USB connection.
  • Summarize how to remotely control FLIR cameras using the FLIR Tools software.
  • Explain how to measure temperatures and interpret thermal images using the FLIR Tools software.
  • Describe how to record radiometric sequences from FLIR USB Video, Ethernet, and SC-Firewire cameras using optional Tools+ Software.
  • Summarize how to use Word and templates to create custom reporting and analysis formats
Course Homepage

Interactive Labs: An Important Part of the ITC Learning Experience

electrical panel - closed smallAt our Boston-Regional training facility we have a number of interactive, hands-on, labs set-up around the perimeter of the classroom. All are designed to help re-enforce the principles of thermography taught during a course. Students use these with their thermal imagers to improve their camera skills and learn more about infrared science as part of planned exercises that create a unique and valuable training experience for everyone in attendance.

One of my personal favorites is a simple mock-up of an electrical panel rigged with several thermal anomalies on the inside. Warm breakers, hot connections and more can all be safely inspected in this controlled environment. I use this particular lab in Level I training to demonstrate the concept of indirect heating that we teach as a part of basic heat transfer. This is the physics behind why the temperature you measure on the surface of a component is often much cooler than what is happening on the inside, at the point of failure.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Infrared Everywhere: Hot Chicks

After I joined the ITC team this past fall, my family and I have been caught up in the process of relocating to southern New Hampshire. Now that we’re finally settled in, and the last of the moving boxes have been emptied, I guess it was time to take on another challenge, this one involving fresh eggs. My wife has always wanted to try raising chickens, and now that we live on a small farm, what better place to take the plunge!

The little ladies arrived in the mail about five weeks ago (yes, the Post Office delivers chicks) and have been growing rapidly ever since. Here’s a quick infrared video from their first week inside the house, captured with a FLIR T650 thermal imager:

Monday, March 31, 2014

A New Look at Air Infiltration in Buildings

gf-mw-air-infiltration-thumbWe can’t see air with a thermal imager, right? Anyone who has completed Level I training knows this very well. A common follow-up question is always why, then, can thermographers still detect air leakage bypasses in buildings?

That’s possible because an infrared camera senses changes in thermal patterns created by air moving over a surface (given there’s a temperature difference) when either infiltrating into (example seen here, image above), or exfiltrating from, a building.

Thanks to a video that my fellow colleague, and ITC Instructor, Ron Lucier recently sent in it looked like, at least for a fleeting moment, that we might have to re-consider this question; can we see air with infrared?  In his video, available below, it certainly appeared that way when using a FLIR GF320 mid-wave infrared camera to view air leakage.  Was it actually detecting air?  How was this possible?  Well not exactly, as we’ll explain, but it was still interesting to watch:

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Live Webinar Schedule Extended Through June 2014

IR-thermography-basics-thumbAfter some very successful webcasts in January and February, ITC is pleased to announce that our series of free, live webinars, has now been extended through June thanks to the exceptionally strong turnout and positive feedback we’ve received.

For those of you who may not be familiar with these, ITC’s complimentary educational webinars are designed to provide a valuable overview of thermal imaging and its many applications. By attending these free, interactive, online sessions participants learn not only the basics of infrared thermography, but also where IR can reduce costs, save energy and increase safety for professionals across a variety of industries.

Registration is now available at where you’ll also find on-demand recordings from past live events that can be viewed at any time.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Infrared Everywhere, Even Where It’s Cold

During a recent visit to Waterville Valley, New Hampshire, I had the chance to capture some thermal video of snowmaking operations at their new tubing facility. The year-round resort, located about 90-minutes north of ITC’s Boston-Regional Training Center, is a popular ski and snowboarding destination in New England. It’s been a pretty good year for natural snow here in the northeast, but even then many resorts still rely on artificial snowmaking to help supplement what Mother Nature provides.

The air temperature was only about 10˚F (-12˚C) in this situation. Given the conditions, the water supply ends up looking quite a bit warmer relative to the surrounding environment.  This gives it the appearance of being warm when it’s really not.  That’s because the upper span limit of my imager was set to approximately 25˚F (-4˚C).  Anything near that threshold shows up as yellow or white “hot” on the color scale in the thermal video. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Can the FLIR One™ Personal Thermal Imager Perform Real Work?

I have seen some buzz around the internet about the FLIR One’s ability to do serious infrared work.  While it is a low resolution thermal imager, the combination of its IR imaging and FLIR’s MSX technology makes it into a useful tool.

Take a look at the following FLIR One™ images of thermal anomalies found in a house, and see if you don’t agree.

Missing Insulation 
Missing Insulation

Cold air leaking around outlet
Cold air leaking around outlet

Cold air leaking through a vent 
Cold air leaking through a vent

Drain Pipe in Wall 
Drain pipe in wall

Monday, February 3, 2014

InfraCanada/InfraQuebec 2014 - Call for papers

imageITC and FLIR Canada are proud to re-institute the Infrared and Maintenance conferences that have been on hiatus for the last couple of years – InfraCanada and InfraQuebec. This year’s conferences will be held in September and October and the venues are: Banff (Alberta), Hockley Valley Resort (Ontario), Mount Tremblant (Quebec) and Moncton (New Brunswick). We are currently looking for presenters for each of the conferences.

Why Present? As a successful user of the Infrared technology, you can share your knowledge and findings with other infrared users or potential users. Educating other interested parties will certainly enhance the Infrared community. Interacting with colleagues and peers may generate possible additional consulting opportunities. Presenters also earn valuable ITC recertification credits to maintain their current ITC certification level. Registration cost for the day you present will be reduced.

Some examples of subject matter for presentations are but not limited to:

  • Condition Monitoring
  • Building Applications
  • Automation
  • Science
  • Fugitive Emission Detection
  • Animal/Veterinary
  • Medical
  • Infrared Complimentary Non-Destructive Testing Tools

Please forward your presentation overview to by March 15th, 2014.

More details about the conferences to follow in future newsletters.

Monday, January 20, 2014

New to IR? ITC Webinars Can Help!

itc logo (2)It’s likely that a number of you who frequent this blog are either new to the world of infrared or possibly just purchased your first thermal imager. Regardless, there is a lot of information that new thermographers need to digest, so where does one proceed? Well, we’ve got some good news for you!

The Infrared Training Center now offers a number of live, regularly scheduled, educational webinars that are designed to introduce participants to the technology and variety of IR applications available. By attending these free, interactive, online sessions you will learn not only the basics of infrared thermography, but also where thermal imaging can reduce costs, save energy and increase safety for professionals in a variety of industries.

If you’re in the electrical, maintenance, or home inspection business, infrared thermography can help you spot a number of issues that your eyes simply can’t see. Join us for as many of these upcoming webinars as you like and learn more about how using infrared can benefit both you and your company.

Sign up today at . Registration is free and now available for the following topics:

Friday, January 10, 2014

New Online Course: FLIR K Series Basics

A tutorial on the basic operation of FLIR K Series Infrared Cameras for Fire Fighters in English, French, and German. This course is offered at no charge.
Course Homepage