Scitech, an award-winning hands-on science centre based in Perth is using thermal imaging cameras from FLIR Systems Australia to offer engaging and interactive science experiences for visitors of all ages.
As Western Australia's leading science education centre, Scitech presents exhibitions, programs and services that are designed to increase interest and participation in science and technology. Scitech is always looking for fascinating new ways to actively engage people in science and technology, and its exhibits, shows, programs and exhibitions are constantly changing in line with the latest innovations.
Each year, around 300,000 visitors come through the centre based in West Perth, while Scitech’s travelling science programs known as Outreach deliver a wide variety of practical science workshops, lessons and activities to more than 190,000 people in regional and remote Western Australia.
Scitech bought a Thermovision A40V composite camera with a 45-degree field of view lens in 2006 for an exhibit known as ‘The Infrared Wall’, an exhibit, which was part of a ‘Patterns of Life’ exhibition gallery that offered visitors a range of interactive exhibits using images, colour, lighting and sounds. Denham Dunstall, Scitech's Director of Technology Design and Development explained that the FLIR Systems infrared camera was chosen because FLIR offered a local supplier and support, and the equipment also met their specific requirements.
The infrared thermography exhibit demonstrates the application of the same real-life technology in police surveillance, fire-fighting, medical imaging and diagnosis, pollution detection, power line maintenance and identifying problems with insulation in buildings.
The infrared real-time images of visitors are projected life-size on a 3m x 2m screen. The wide-angle lens of the A40V allows for a shorter distance between the camera and screen, thereby reducing the exhibit footprint in the gallery. The FLIR thermal imaging camera also stores settings, which is an important factor in an exhibit where the unit is not operated manually by a trained operator.
Two hot and cold panels have been provided for visitors to place their hands on either panel to see via the infrared camera how their body temperature is affected. Hot areas of the body are shown as red or white, mid-range temperatures as green or blue, and cool areas as purple or black.
In November 2009, Scitech invested in another infrared camera, the FLIR B200 for its Outreach science program, so the same hands-on experience could be taken on the road around Western Australia. This FLIR B200 camera is incorporated into a smaller portable exhibit and uses a video monitor to project visitors’ images.
Price and portability were two key factors that led to the selection of the FLIR B200 for the travelling Outreach program. Both FLIR thermal infrared cameras offer ease of use while meeting Scitech’s requirements well. Denham is also pleased with the service received from FLIR and its representative Steve Blott.