Cleaning the lens on a thermal imager camera (TIC) is important for image clarity

fire behavior fire suppression Mar 17, 2023

This is video footage from a live fire training in an acquired structure. I am cleaning the camera lenses between each drill as the soot, moisture and other liquids and solids attach to the lens and degrade the image quality. Neither the normal camera or the thermal imager camera are x-ray machines that can "see" through liquids and particles.

For normal operations this means two things:
1. You need to stay low, and you need to keep the thermal imager low. Most often the lower you hold the camera the better image you will get. Lower in the compartment there are less particles and liquids blocking the view. And less of those particles and liquids will attach to the lens and further degrade the image.

2. Whenever you feel the need to wipe the lens on your SCBA mask you should also consider cleaning/wiping the lens on the thermal imager camera to maintain optimal image quality.
I keep a normal wet wipe in a pocket or in my glove sleeve to wipe the lens as it is clean and will not scratch the lens on the camera. If you wipe the camera lens with your glove it might just make it more dirty and/or scratch the lens permanently.
The lens on the thermal imager camera is made from germanium. It is a special glass and from what I understand it is very expensive to replace.

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