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Using Blackbody Radiation in Thermal Imaging and Calibrating

An object may be considered as a perfect black body if it absorbs all the incoming light without any being reflected. An excellent example is a cavity that has a tiny hole in it. The total amount light incident that falls on that small hole goes straight into the cavity and basically never gets reflected out because for it to do so, it would need to undergo too many reflections off the cavity walls. If the walls are made absorptive, for example through painting it black, that cavity would make a perfect example of a black body.

Blackbody Radiation

Black body radiation technology is electromagnet radiation given off by solid matter when at a certain temperature. It is this form of radiation that allows for the visible detection of the temperature coming from any mass, in turn which allow thermography to generate an image that is different.


Depending on their emissivity, different objects will radiate differently at diverse wavelengths and temperatures. No one single type of material can be described as the perfect source of black body radiation. However, in its graphite form, carbon absorbs all except approximately 3 per cent, which also makes it a perfect radiation emitter.

This emitted radiation may be measured using sensors that are sensitive enough to the differences in temperature in the captured data. Through processing the captured data, it becomes possible to generate an image that shows an object’s thermal mapping. When used together with optics, the surrounding area’s thermal image is generated. For generating images, the process utilized is a Forward Looking Infra-Red technology (FLIR) detection model. It is this technology that forms the basis for generating thermal imaging.


Sources of blackbody radiation are being employed in thermal imaging and calibrating. 
When the radiation source has been integrated as a component of an automated testing CI Systems Computerized Test Executive Software optical test bench, it could be used in determining the operational thermal imager characteristics, or Unit under Test. 

When developing any new thermal imaging method, this facilitates for the testing accuracy of the technology to values as precise as allowed by the source of the black body radiation. The accuracy aspect is very important as it concerns the delicate field of military-based electro-optical technology. The machine’s accuracy to produce black body radiation impacts the outcomes which the developer can hope to see. 

A greater range, for example, between -40ºC and 1200ºC provided by the black bodies from CI Systems, allows for the designing of imaging technology to pin-point man-made installations located even in climates that are extremely cold, to the development of optics that can be utilized with satellites for inspecting weapons of mass destruction(WMD). The accuracy assists in eliminating false positives while making sure that the technology can determine valid outcomes.


Interest in black body radiation sources is receiving increased attention, especially from the military for purposes of enhancing radar invisibility. In addition, these materials are being employed in solar energy collectors, infrared thermal detection, in cameras and telescopes.

They are particularly useful when it comes to designing new technologies dealing with thermal imagery as they consistently deliver the expected outcomes. The radiation generated is well behaved and within the parameters set by the developer.

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