Technology.am (May 2, 2009) — Some airports are using thermal imaging cameras to screen passengers for swine flu, without having to stick thermometers in their mouths.
These cameras record light that objects reflect. Recordings from these cameras show up on video screens with hotter objects looking brighter.
They are sensitive to heat, measuring temperatures down to a fraction of a degree Fahrenheit, said Andrew Sarangan, an associate professor in the University of Dayton’s electro-optics program. They can even work in the dark.
The Camera merges visual and thermal images to create a “heat picture” of a person. A pointer automatically shows the hottest area in the picture, which is usually a person’s face, mainly because it’s not covered in clothes.
However, the cameras can detect higher temperatures, but they can’t screen for swine flu itself. If someone in a hurry to catch a flight can have a higher body temperature. A fever also does not mean someone is sick with swine flu, so airports need to do further screening once they spot passengers with high temperatures.