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FLIR finds oil on the water

FLIR sees oil on water

FLIR Systems, Inc. has announced that recent tests to determine how well its thermal imaging cameras could see oil on water had outstanding results, and that FLIR maritime thermal imagers are providing valuable assistance to oil recovery crews working on the Gulf oil spill.

In early April of 2010, FLIR conducted a series of experiments at the OHMSETT oil recovery test facility in coastal New Jersey to determine if FLIR maritime thermal imagers see petrochemicals floating on seawater, and if so, which cameras do it the best.

Just a few weeks after this initial test, FLIR’s M-Series and First Mate maritime imagers are currently proving their worth to oil containment and recovery crews working on the recent Gulf oil spill,  providing valuable aid and assistance in this time of national emergency.

In the experiment, FLIR tested a variety of thermal imagers, observing five different kinds of oil and diesel in a variety of sea states, from three different viewing angles, and under a variety of lighting conditions.

The result, according to a press release issued by FLIR: the company’s maritime thermal longwave imaging cameras succeed at providing crisp, clear real-time video and photos of any temperature oil in all types of seas, in glaring sunlight, with no light at all, and from just about any angle.

FLIR thermal imagers can see oil on water extremely well -- day or night, in all types of lighting conditions -- because oil emits infrared energy quite differently from water, which gives floating films a distinct appearance. In addition, infrared imaging requires no visible light to make a clear image and is not affected by reflections caused by wave action or solar interference, says the FLIR release.

Footage of the FLIR cameras at work can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/user/FLIRNightVision.



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