Daylight TV cameras, image intensiﬁed (I²) night vision devices, and the human eye all see the same thing: reﬂected visible light.
Unfortunately, we need visual contrast to discern an object from its surroundings and at night there is very little visual contrast to work with. Conventional night vision scopes are great for situational awareness, but they can’t see in total darkness. Conventional night vision scopes also struggle to penetrate foliage or make a picture at great distances.
The examples below demonstrate how Image
Intensified Night Vision and Thermal Night vision differ.
Visible Light Camera / Human Vision
Thermal Energy in Day-to-Day Life
Everything we encounter in day-to-day life gives off thermal energy, even ice. The hotter something is, the more thermal energy it emits. This emitted thermal energy is called a heat signature. When two objects next to one another have even subtly different heat signatures, they show up clearly to a thermal imager regardless of lighting conditions.
Thermal imaging cameras will vary in price depending on the features of the camera. The camera’s resolution and lens options will often dictate the price. The higher the camera’s resolution, the better image clarity and detail you will see on images and video.