On two occasions I have had the opportunity to use FLIR thermal imagine scopes. They are very impressive, but so are their price tags. With a relatively low price of $1,999, the new FLIR Scout PS24 Thermal Camera brings thermal imaging within the reach of many consumers who need thermal capabilities for hunting or for locating lost people or livestock.
Unlike image intensifier night vision technology, which amplifies all the available visible and near-infrared light, thermal imaging system operate exclusively in non-visible infrared electromagnetic radiation. Because we are not able to see infrared radiation, the device instead creates a representation of what it detects and displays it on a small digital screen. The screen resolutions of the consumer models are low. The PS24 and PS32 have a 240×180 and 320×240 pixel screen respectively. You view the screen by looking through the view finder, like an optical scope, or by plugging in another device, for example a TV or computer, into the video output port.
The Scout displays temperature contrast. This means that as long as the object you are trying to locate is of significantly different temperature to the surroundings, it will be immediately obvious. In the White Hot palette white represents the hottest temperatures and black the coolest. The Black Hot palette is the reverse and the InstAlert palette highlights very warm objects, such as people, in red.
What most people don’t realize is that the temperature contrast works just as well during the day as it does at night.
|Detector Type||240×180 VOx Microbolometer|
|USB Port||Software Updates/Upgrades/Charging|
|Video Output||NTSC or PAL Composite Video; 9 Hz Refresh Rate|
|Weight (with battery)||12 oz|
|Size (L × W × H)||6.70” x 2.31” x 2.44” (172 × 58.7 × 62 mm)|
|Battery Type||Internal Battery/Li-Ion|
|Battery Life (Operating)||5+ Hours Typical|
|Range||Detect Man-Sized Target ~350 yds|