Sunday, December 6, 2009

Thermal imaging cameras at Bangalore airport!

Photo: Thermal imaging for Swine Flu screening at Bangalore International Airport

Arriving on an international flight at the Bangalore International airport, I was surprised to see two thermal imaging cameras. Each camera was looking at arriving passengers and visually marking those who had an elevated body temperature, in order to discern people who may be suffering from Swine Flu. These cameras are sensitive to IR heat radiation in the body temperature range. The cameras work by mapping temperature readings into a colormap that visually depicts body temperature. The video images produced by the cameras looked eerily similar to the IR images that the alien saw in the Predator movie series!

As compared to conventional body temperature measurements via thermometers, this real-time technique makes it possible for a medical officer to screen many more people. I wonder why these systems are not installed in other world airports.

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