Thermal Imaging by Michael L. Current, Key West, Florida, USA Key West Marine Surveyor, LLC

Key West, Florida
Marine Surveys in Key West, Summerland Key, Marathon, Islamorada, Key Largo,
and all the islands in between along the Florida Keys


Michael L. Current, SAMS® SA
Principal Marine Surveyor
305-393-7778


Thermal Imaging

Thermal Imaging by Michael L. Current, Key West, Florida, USAWhat is Thermal Imaging?

Thermal imaging (also sometimes referred to as thermography, infrared imaging or thermal scanning) enables humans to see the infrared portion of the light spectrum.

What Does This Mean to Me and How Does it Help?

The use of thermal imaging in marine surveying enables the certified Thermographer the ability to identify potential problems that may not be detectable using traditional surveying technics and equipment. Marine surveyors use "nondestructive" methods, meaning as a rule we do not disassemble a component for inspection. Surveyors use sight, sound, and touch, to identify issues. Additionally, special marine survey instruments help detect issues beyond the human senses. For some surveyors, thermal cameras are one such tool.

How Does Thermal Imaging Work?

All objects over absolute zero give off a certain amount of thermal radiation. Thermal imaging cameras provide a nondestructive, environmentally friendly way to see temperature differentials in an object to verify such things as electrical and mechanical failures, structural design, delamination (disbanding), damage, voids, structural issues, and moisture intrusion. For example, overheating in an electrical panel can't be seen by the human eye, but is easily viewed through a thermal camera. Thermal imaging is used widely in other industries for maintenance and pre-failure inspections of machinery. Although somewhat recent technology in marine surveying, thermal imaging is used extensively in the surveying of commercial aircraft hulls and systems, by law enforcement, and the military.

Can Anyone Use Infrared Imagery?

Anyone can pick up an IR camera. However, without the proper training it would be easy for someone to misinterpret what is being viewed or overlook valuable information. Therefore, one should only hire a marine surveyor who has the proper training and experience. Additionally, only those surveyors with recognized certifications in Thermography can integrate IR in their marine survey reports to hold up in court. Mike Current utilized infrared imagery during his thirty years as an Army Intelligence Officer. As a marine surveyor, Mike received his Level I Thermography certification from the Infrared Training Center, the most renowned IR school in the United States. Mike is one of only half a dozen marine surveyors in Florida certified to use IR in marine survey reporting, and he is the only one south of Miami.




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