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Customize Your Thermal Sight View
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The above video clip illustrates how FLIR’s various color palettes depict the scene of a whitetail deer at 40 yards. It was shot on FLIR’s most affordable handheld thermal camera, the $599 Scout TK

 

 

 

 

 

Changeable FLIR color palettes optimize performance based on varying targets and conditions

 

 

By Brent T. Wheat

 

 

Whether you’re a “Predator” or simply intent on “seeing red,” the various color palettes employed by FLIR’s advanced line of thermal optics offer a customizable visual display that can be tailored to the user, the target and the situation. 

 

Thermal imaging optics – handheld, helmet-mounted or weapon-mounted – convert sensitive infrared (heat) measurements into sharp visual depictions displayed on a small screen for the user to see, much like a digital photographic camera does with visible light.  FLIR engineers have maximized performance by adding various “palettes” that display the captured temperature data in discrete color sets that offer various advantages depending on user preference and circumstances.

 

For most users, the White Hot and Black Hot palettes are the starting point for all situations, as they depict most scenes very realistically while offering good target discrimination.   In fact, one former military drone operator has said that a FLIR thermal camera employing the White Hot palette was used for 90-percent of visual observations during his tour of duty – even when higher-resolution optical cameras were available for daytime use.

 

Moving beyond the White Hot and Black Hot modes, other palettes offer different ways to view the surrounding environment and highlight the target depending on circumstances and user preference.  Some palettes reduce eye fatigue while others are better for fast target acquisition. For example, the Arctic palette works well when waiting for coyotes against a snowy background, while the Outdoor Alert palette allows hog hunters to instantly find their target in quick-reaction situations.  Cops find the InstAlert™ palette great for fast detection of suspects or evidence.

 

However, even if they have a preferred color palette in “typical” operations, it is not uncommon for FLIR users to frequently shift between the various palettes to obtain optimal visual display while dealing with changing target and environmental conditions.  That’s why it pays to be familiar with all of the possible options in order to give one’s self the literal “Sixth Sense” that FLIR thermal imaging provides.

 

Ultimately, there is no right or wrong selection when choosing a palette; each situation is different.  Each user preference is unique. That’s why FLIR offers the following color palettes on most of their outdoor and tactical thermal imaging products:

 

 

 

WHITE HOT: The most commonly-used palette.  It displays the scene as a black-and-white image where the hottest objects are displayed as white.  The main advantage of White Hot is that the overall scene looks normal, albeit in black-and-white, and is easily interpreted by the user. This palette is suitable for scenes with either high or low contrast, making it a great option when shifting from one landscape to another.

 

 

 

 

 

BLACK HOT: The opposite of White Hot, the warmest objects appear black.  This palette is frequently used at night because the scene very closely resembles what is visible to the naked eye.

 

 

 

 

 

SEPIA: This is a palette built from shades that reside at the warmer end of the color spectrum.  In this palette, the coldest objects are black while the warmest objects are displayed as yellow.  This particular color set has a relatively narrow visual spectrum and helps reduce eye and mental fatigue when long periods of time are spent looking into the camera.

 

 

 

 

 

RAINBOW_HC: This is a multi-color palette that displays the temperature of objects in a wide color range.  It adds more visual interest to the scene and ensures excellent visibility of objects with a high temperature.  This palette is particularly useful in low contrast scenes, as it utilizes a wider color spectrum to add details to the scene and ensures excellent visibility. It is best suited for large open areas with minimal temperature differences.

 

 

 

 

 

IRONBOW: This reddish color palette simulates the glow of objects heated to visible incandescence, much like iron in a fire.  The target’s radiance is conspicuous against the surrounding background, allowing for quick acquisition of people, animals and warm objects.

 

 

 

 

OUTDOOR ALERT: A unique hybrid palette that combines the lifelike detail seen in Black Hot images with easy-to-find targets highlighted using colors ranging from dark red to bright yellow.  This palette highlights the top 10% hottest objects in the scene, quickly bringing your eyes to bear on target.

 

 

 

 

 

INSTALERT™: FLIR’s proprietary InstAlert™ feature highlights the top 10% hottest objects in the scenes with a red-yellow gradient that makes it easier to see suspects, evidence and other hot objects within the environment.  Designed with law enforcement officers in mind, InstAlert™ has officers seeing red.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Illinois Outdoors TV Show and Outdoor News by Don Dziedzina. Fishing, Hunting, Outdoor Reports For All Illinois including Illinois River, La Salle Lake, Braidwood Lake, Heidecke Lake, Tampier Lake, Lake Michigan, Calumet River, Rend Lake, Shelbyville, Fox Chain, Illinois Forest Preserve Lakes, for catfish, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, bluegill, lake trout, salmon, kings, coho, muskies. Hunting Illinois Information reports, news TV Show for upland game, waterfowl, deer in Illinois hunting. Fishing and Hunting TV Show for Illinois, photos, tips and articles, lake and river maps for Illinois, rod covers, Great fathers day, birthday gifts and Christmas gifts from Illinois Outdoors TV Show hosted by Don Dziedzina and Don DZ.

 

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