Thermal imaging to monitor and enhance sterilization effectiveness with plasma glow by RF induction
Lakkimsetty, Sai Teja
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This is a comprehensive study on thermal cameras and their application in industrial and medical fields where we cannot use traditional sensors to measure the temperature of the object of interest. This could be inaccessibility of the object due to distance constraint or due to sensors rendered inoperable because of the Radio Frequency (RF) plasma. This study concentrates on the last. RF plasma has long been used to sterilize objects for both medical and industrial use. Our typical temperature measuring equipment such as Infra-Red (IR) sensor, thermocouples, pyrometers are ineffective. IR sensors have a very small range and their effective heat sensing area is equivalent to one pixel. Thermocouples and pyrometers could be very accurate, but they measure the temperature as the average and they cannot be deployed where hotspots can occur. This is the unique problem thermal camera can solve. They have multiple IR like sensors packed into a small body with lens assembly to focus a large area. This effectively helps us to solve the critical problem of hotspots and temperature measurement. Thermal cameras as a growing commodity in civilian market has few hurdles. Availability in civilian market means you can acquire one at low cost. This also means lack of features and support. Current thermal cameras have limited or no documentation on radiometry. For our particular application we intend to give some insights and solve the problem.