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Is Thermal Vision Better than Night Vision?

By December 17, 2016Thermal Rifle Scope
thermal vision vs. night vision

Are nocturnal predators destroying your calf herd? Hogs annihilating your corn crop? Or maybe your neck of the woods has become a hot spot for nighttime property thieves. It is commonly agreed upon that seeing in the dark is necessary for eliminating such nocturnal vermin, but what’s the best tool for tackling the task?

How night vision works

Night vision optics gather and magnify light from the natural environment, allowing you to get an idea of what’s out there. With environmental lighting to draw from, your equipment will offer a picture of what stands before you. But what happens when there’s no light available to be magnified? On a cloudy, moonless night, your equipment might not work as effectively as you need it to. And if a heavy fog rolls in, or the bottom falls out in a thunderstorm, you can give it up. Although night vision products can be helpful in targeting predators during the overnight hours, such technology has a very specific set of limitations. Foggy weather, heavy rain, snowfall and smoke can all cloud your vision. And if you can’t see your target, you certainly can’t eliminate it.

While night vision optics have been the go-to tool for years (40 years), the technology field has stepped up its game with new generation thermal vision devices. If you are working with thermal vision optics, your odds of stopping nocturnal predators increase exponentially. Thermal vision provides a clear view regardless of light availability and weather conditions. With imaging based on infared thermal energy, anything that produces heat, even in minute amounts, will be highly visible. Nocturnal predators no longer have the advantage. With thermal vision technology, you can remove these threats one by one in dark or daylight.

thermal vision pigman

Photo credit: SEEK Thermal. Avid outdoorsman, professional hog hunter, and TV personality Brian “Pigman” Quaca

What makes thermal vision better than night vision? 

Thermal imaging enables you to clearly see your target regardless of rain, fog, snowfall, smoke, lack of lighting or too much lighting. As long as your target is radiating some level of heat, it can be seen. Thermal technology offers more target-locating potential than night vision because it operates with a much larger range of capabilities and far less obstacles.

Here’s how thermal imaging works:

  1. A special lens focuses the infrared light emitted by all of the objects in view.
  2. The focused light is scanned by a phased array of infrared-detector elements. The detector elements create a very detailed temperature pattern called a thermogram. It only takes about one-thirtieth of a second for the detector array to obtain the temperature information to make the thermogram. This information is obtained from several thousand points in the field of view of the detector array.
  3. The thermogram created by the detector elements is translated into electric impulses.
  4. The impulses are sent to a signal-processing unit, a circuit board with a dedicated chip that translates the information from the elements into data for the display.
  5. The signal-processing unit sends the information to the display, where it appears as various colors depending on the intensity of the infrared emission. The combination of all the impulses from all of the elements creates the image. (Source: Infared.com)

If you’re serious about protecting your property, or if you just need to thin down the predator population in your game hunting area, thermal vision won’t let you down. It will give you a clear image of your mark every time, so you can rest assured that you are on target and know exactly what you are aiming at. For home defense, law enforcement and hunting, thermal is the way to go.

Turn your smartphone into a low-cost thermal rifle scope. Download the free app to get started using Inteliscope today!


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Photo credit: SEEK® Thermal