Testing Thermal Performance When Snowing

Author: John Honovich, Published on Jan 14, 2013

Thermal cameras have long been marketed as able to "see" when traditional cameras cannot, whether in low light or adverse conditions. Certainly there is much truth in this, especially in low light as our thermal vs D/N shootout shows. But what about when the conditions get even worse?

Since it is winter now (in the Northern Hemisphere), we decided to test out how thermal performed during a recent snowstorm.

The Scene

During the storm, the test area in Pennsylvania received 4-5" of total snow, with most accumulation coming during a 2-3 hour period one afternoon.

Prior to the storm moving in, with only some flurries in the air, images were relatively clear, with vehicles clearly discernable on the highway 800-900' away. The group of birds in this image are approximately 350' from the camera and clearly visible (on the left of the closer car), as well:

12:54 PM

******* ******* **** **** **** ******** ** **** ** "***" when *********** ******* ******, ******* ** *** ***** ** ******* conditions. ********* ***** ** **** ***** ** ****, ********** ** low ***** ** ********** ** */* ******** *****. *** **** ***** **** *** ********** *** **** *****?

***** ** ** ****** *** (** *** ******** **********), ** decided ** **** *** *** ******* ********* ****** * ****** snowstorm.

The *****

****** *** *****, *** **** **** ** ************ ******** *-*" of ***** ****, **** **** ************ ****** ****** * *-* hour ****** *** *********.

***** ** *** ***** ****** **, **** **** **** ******** in *** ***, ****** **** ********** *****, **** ******** ******* discernable ** *** ******* ***-***' ****. *** ***** ** ***** in **** ***** *** ************* ***' **** *** ****** *** clearly ******* (** *** **** ** *** ****** ***), ** well:

12:54 PM

[***************]

Key ********

***** ******* ******** ********** ** **** **** ** *** ************* intensified. ******, ****** ***** ********, *** *** ***' **** **** was **** ******* *********** *********** ***********. *******, *********** *************, **** as **** ** *** ******, *** *** ****** ******* ***********.

***** ******* ******* *** ** **** ** ****** ******** ** scenes ***** ******* ******* ******, **** ** ***-***** ************, ***** should ** ***** ** *** ******* ******* **** ** ***** performance. ************* ** ********* ***** ********** ******** ***** ************* *** find ******* ******* ********** ***** ************.

** ****** *** ******** **** ******** ******* ******* *** ***** degraded *********** ** ** ********. ** **********, **** *** ** increased, *** **** **** ********* *****, ******* ** ******* **** low-light ****** ** ******* *******. *** **** ******** ******** ** this ** ** *** ******* *** ******* ******* ** * complement ** **** *****, ******* ** ************. * ******* ****** may ** **** ** ******** ****** ******** ** *** ***** scenes, ** ****** *** ** **** *************** **** ******** ****** under ***** **********.

The **** ******

** **** ***** ** ****, ** *** *** ******** ***** to ********, ****** ******* *** ***** ****** *******.

1:44 PM

**** ** **** *****, **** **** ******* ** ***** *" per ****, ********** ** ******** *******, **** ******** ** *** far ******* ******** **** ********* ** **** ***:

2:15 PM

*******, ** *** *****'* **** (************* *** ***** *****), *** vehicle ** ***' ** ********* ********* ** ******. *** ******* on *** **** ****, ***** ***' ****, ** ****** **********, but ******* ******* **** **** *********** ***** ** *** *****.

2:45 PM

**** **** ***** ********* ***** *** ********* ** ******** ** time **** **, *** **** ******:

Time lapse

**********

*** ****** *** **** ********* ** ***** ******** ** * phenomena ***** ** **********. ****** ***, ******** ** *** *** disperses ******* *********. **** ******* ** **** ******** ****** ******** the ******, ** ******* ****** ****** ** *** ******* ***********, causing * *****-******** *****. *********** ** ********** ************ *** **** somewhat, *** ** *** *****, ** **** **** * ********* in ******** ** ****** ***** ****** ** ****.

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