The way an ordinary camera detects light, similarly a thermal imaging camera detects heat or to be more precise infrared radiation.Infrared is a form of electromagnetic radiation that humans can’t see but can feel as heat.
Thermal imaging also called Infrared thermography (IRT), or thermal video is based on a process where a thermal camera captures and creates an image of an object by using infrared radiation emitted from the object. It converts the heat from infrared radiation into electric signals for thermal image processing. The technology is significantly being applied in various fields such as outdoor night vision, temperature measurement, fire prevention, health and medical care, and autopilot.
A brief history of the invention of thermal imaging systems
- The first infrared-sensitive camera was invented in 1929 by Hungarian physicist Kalman Tihanyi.
- The first thermographic camera was created by the US military and Texas Instruments in 1947. It took one hour to produce a single image.
- Thermal imaging was first employed for military purposes such as scouting and night combat missions during the Korean War in 1950.
Since then, its applications have spread far and wide, spanning multiple fields and a wide range of practical applications. This is one industry that was positively affect the Pandemic when thermal cameras were widely use to control the spread of the virus.
Thermal Imaging systems can divided into three categories- Cameras, Modules, and Scopes
- The global thermal imaging scopes market size was USD 3 billion in 2022 and it is expect to reach USD 8 billion, in the coming decade growing at a CAGR of 11.3%.
- The thermal imaging and cameras market is reportedly expect to grow from 6.2 billion as of 2022 to 11 billion in the coming decade growing at a CAGR of 7%.
- The thermal module is the core of a thermal camera, consisting of an infrare detector and processing circuits, and as cameras are widely used for ultra-clear thermal imaging and accurate temperature measurement hence the market for thermal modules also has a significant growth outlook.
Applications of Thermal Imaging Systems
- For Medical purposes –Telethermographic systems, also known as thermal imaging systems, are use to measure surface skin temperature and hence detect illness. They are significantly use as a noninvasive diagnostic technique to measure various levels of infrare radiation associate with human temperature indicative of potential health problems including infectious disease.
- For Defense and Aerospace – Thermal imaging systems allow ground troops to detect temperature-difference between inanimate objects and enemy forces.
- For Security Surveillance – They provide an overview of the current situation at all times and record temperature changes in all kinds of weather, adverse ambient conditions, and even poor visibility.
- Automotive- Autonomous cars use Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS) and hence deploy multiple sensors, including thermal cameras, which facilitate better night vision, even in crowded areas and foggy situations.
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- For Electrical Maintenance
- For Healthcare
- For Fire Fighting
- For Personal Vision Systems
- For Plumbing
- For constructions
Thermal Imaging Systems Market
Market Research Analysis
The Current and Estimated Market Size-
The Thermal Imaging Systems Market Industry has been valued at approximately USD 4 billion as of 2023 and is estimated to reach USD 9 billion by 2035 growing at a CAGR of 8%.
Trends positively impacting the market growth are-
- The increasing application of thermal imaging systems in various sectors such as healthcare, automotive, defense and border security, aerospace, manufacturing, and others.
- The technical innovations and advancements in thermal imaging solutions.
- The growing government support for developing and advancing thermal imaging solutions.
- The adoption of thermal imaging systems for meeting stringent social distancing protocols.
- The rising implementation of thermal imaging systems in public places such as airports, railways, supermarkets, and stadiums.
- Growing demand for thermal imaging cameras in extreme weather conditions.
- The discovery of innovative applications of thermal imaging systems facilitating higher efficiency and accurate results.
Trends negatively impacting the market growth are-
- Limitations of thermal imaging systems in mass temperature screening. In other words, they cannot be used to measure the temperatures of many people in a crowd at the same time.
- Using thermal imaging systems requires a specific environment and preparations as per instructions
- Stringent restrictions are imposed by various countries on the export and import of thermal imaging products.
Research Nester recently published an article with a detailed and in-depth analysis of the Thermal Imaging Systems Market Industry.
The Thermal Imaging Systems Market Regional Synopsis
- North America is dominating the thermal imagining market and marks a compound annual growth rate of 14% in the coming decade. The growing expenditure to enhance military and aerospace and intensify the defense stronghold is the major factor boosting the growth of the market. Moreover, the FDA refers to thermal imaging systems as “the system intended for use in the diagnosis of disease or other conditions, or in the cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of disease and, therefore, meets the definition of “device” set forth in Section 201(h) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.” As such, thermal imaging systems are widely used in the U.S. in a number of medical and clinical applications. One of them is clinical thermography which uses thermal cameras for the diagnosis of diseases, infections, and cancer. The presence of prominent market players and distributors is also boosting the market in this region. Teledyne FLIR Systems is a global leader in thermal imaging solutions. It has recently introduced RealWear, the world’s first fully hands-free, voice-controlled thermal camera module. In addition, Thermal by FLIR cohort Ulefone recently introduced its first mobile handset featuring the Lepton 3.5 thermal camera module, the Power Armor 18T 5G Android phone.
- Asia Pacific also occupies a prominent position in the thermal imaging systems market and is expect to grow at a CAGR of 6 % in the coming decade. As per a report, Chinese firms substantially increased their shipments for fever detection systems in 2020 and held 38% of the global export share of thermal imagers in 2022, maintaining their overall revenue growth. Hikvision and InfiRay are the leading firms in China. In India, a startup that manufactures the state’s first-of-its-kind thermal imaging surveillance units – Panther, has got the Indian Army and the Kerala Police keenly interested. Ozak Technologies has become the first defense manufacturing company in the country’s first defense park, Kinfra in Palakkad. Apart from that thermal imaging systems have increasingly used in medical and automotive fields too.
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- Europe also occupies a large share in terms of revenue, owing to the deployment of thermal imaging systems in the aerospace, defense, automotive, healthcare, and oil and gas sectors. It is estimate to grow at a CAGR of 13%. Bae Systems is the major player in this region.
The prominent players in the Thermal Imaging Systems Market are-
The major companies operating in the market of thermal imaging systems are Bae Systems Plc, Flir Systems, L-3 Communications Holdings, Ulis S.A.S, Lockheed Martin, Drs Technologies, Inc., Elbit Systems Ltd., Raytheon Company, Sofradir Sas, Thermoteknix Systems Ltd, and Opgal Optronic Industries Ltd.
The latest developments in the field of Thermal Imaging Systems are as follows-
- BAE Systems has unveiled a high-definition uncooled thermal sensor called Athena 1920, which combines exceptional infrared image clarity with a wide field of view and is ideal for long-range security, surveillance, and targeting system applications.
- FLIR Systems, Inc. has made four new additions to its Exx-Series of advanced thermal imaging cameras: the E96, E86, E76, and E54 that offer an enhanced thermal resolution for more vibrant, easy-to-read images and on-camera routing capability to improve field survey efficiency. This new range of cameras facilitates the detection of early signs of building issues, identifying hot spots, and troubleshooting electrical and mechanical systems, hence preventing problems at an early stage.
In a nutshell, it can said that apart from its significant adoption, thermal imaging systems show promising prospects for many yet-to-be-innovate applications in various other fields. The market industry assures high growth capabilities and revenue generation potential in the coming decade for investors and key players alike.
A recent report from Research Nester has covered all the aspects of the thermal imaging systems market related to its high prospects of revenue and growth for investors and market players.