Monthly News Round Up - December

Hello, and welcome to the first Monthly News Round Up of 2017! We hope you all had a lovely Christmas and New Year, and aren't struggling too much with being back at work, and back to normal. Below is a round up of the most popular stories and videos from the world of thermal imaging in December 2016. Enjoy!


"Teenage girls have built Africa's first ever private satellite" - As part of a project at their high school STEM bootcamp, 14 teenage girls from South Africa have created their country's first ever private satellite, which will be launched in May 2017 to monitor Africa's changing weather conditions. The primary activities of the satellite will be to "send back detailed thermal imaging data twice a day to help disaster prevention and improve food security in the region". 

"A Thermal Camera Reveals the Secret of the Drinking Bird Desk Toy" - A drinking bird desk toy is one of those little desk toys where a 'bird' wearing a top hat dips his head up and down. Placing next to your mug or glass therefore gives the impressions it is drinking. Using a thermal imaging camera, Brody Haran of Sixty Seconds, was able to demonstrate exactly how this works. Because, well, why not?

"CSIRO Data61 Scientists trialling Amazon biodiversity monitoring system" - Further to a study published by Lancaster University and the Federal University of Lavras stating that biodiversity loss due to human activities may be worse than previously thought, as a result of commonly used scientific methods, scientists from Brazil's Mamiroua Institute are trialling the use of "wireless sensors throughout the Amazon with autonomous nodes that continuously monitor wildlife". Thermal imaging cameras make up a key part of their research kit.

"Racehorses receive thermal checkups to avoid injury" - Imaging and Machine Vision Europe: Though thermal imaging is by no means a new tool in veterinary diagnostics, a new system developed by UK based Byerley Technologies is being used to reduce or prevent injury in race horses. The thermal imaging is used to measure the cool-down rate of a horse's leg muscles after training. Results that show that the legs are taking a long time to cool down could indicate damage to muscles or ligaments. 


"Solving crimes with infrared?" - Physics Girl: Scientific youtuber Physics Girl used her FLIR One to inspect the 'scene of a crime', and identify the culprit. Some light-hearted silliness demonstrating how diverse the uses of thermal imaging are!

"Could You Survive Home Alone?" - Vsauce3: Another light-hearted video looking at some of the traps set out by kid hero Kevin McAllister in the legendary Christmas film Home Alone. First up is the heated doorknob, whereby the team use a FLIR T1K to visually demonstrate how hot the door knob is, and whether the classic scene in the film is actually possible in real life.

"Bicycle brakes filmed with thermal camera" - Thermal Guys: A fascinating video illustrating how bicycle brakes work, and heat up, when being used. The Thermal Guys filmed themselves hurtling down a rather large (and icy!) hill, with a FLIR T660, to demonstrate this (they're certainly braver than we are!).

"Thermal Imaging Can Save Lives in a Smoke-Filled Room" - KQED SCIENCE: A training video from the South Marin Fire District in California, USA, shows just how useful thermal imaging cameras are to fire fighters when faced with a building full of smoke.

So there you are, another year over, and another Monthly Round Up done and dusted! As ever, let us know if you've spotted anything you think should be included next month. Have a great couple of weeks, and we'll see you next time.

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