How to Evaluate the Accuracy of An Infrared Thermometer

How to Evaluate the Accuracy of An Infrared Thermometer

Posted by Machine Sense on

The ongoing pandemic has blown everything out of proportion. Today, our priority is to save us from getting affected by it. As a result, every public place, starting from a shopping mall to an airport, is using infrared thermometers to check the temperatures of every individual before letting them enter the premises. If their temperature is normal, then they are allowed further, otherwise, they are blocked right there. This ensures that they won’t spread it further in crowded places. 

But can we rely on these infrared thermometers for accuracy?

Several observations revealed that infrared thermometers get affected by external weather conditions, especially in cold places. It means that if the outside temperature is too low, then our skin temperature will be low too, irrespective of our core body temperature. These infrared thermometers measure our skin temperatures from our foreheads. Now, our foreheads are always exposed, and therefore, get affected by the outside temperature easily. As a result, the thermometers show low-temperature readings even if we are having a fever. It risks others’ safety, as people with undetected fever may even be allowed to enter crowded places and spread the virus. Hence, it is necessary to evaluate the accuracy of a thermometer before using it. 

We can follow the below-mentioned instructions for the same:

Measure at room temperature

The IR thermometers must be placed at room temperature. The temperature reading must also be taken there only. For example, if we walked through a chilly area or brought it out of a cold or hot automobile, we need to keep it at room temperature for about fifteen to twenty minutes before performing the accuracy check. 

Keep the IR sensor clean

We need to make sure that the IR sensor or the lens is free of any condensation, grime, or debris. These factors may affect the reading accuracy and therefore need to be eliminated. For removing these, we can use some alcohol and a soft cotton pad. Then we need to wipe them away and clean them. 

Check the distance 

Normally every thermometer has this mentioned on it or within the instructions. For example, if the distance to target ratio is 12:1, it means that if we place the infrared thermometer 12” away from the test object, then the target diameter to be tested will be 1”. If we increase the distance between the thermometer and the test object further, it will again increase the test diameter. The temperature’s average in the target diameter is the temperature reading we get.

Pick the right area to focus the laser

We need a laser that will help indicate the testing area. In the IRT, IRK, IR-Gun, IRFS, the location of the laser is below the lens. We need to aim the laser just below the area to be tested. The sensor or the IR sensor or lens must be held at an angle of 90 degrees from the target surface.

Set emissivity levels

Emissivity is defined as a calculation of how much radiation a surface emits. It should match the emissivity setting of the measuring device. Hence, we need to check whether our Infrared Thermometer allows changes in the emissivity setting. We need to set it for 0.95-0.97 to perform the tests. Few Infrared thermometers are pre-set by the factories and those will also give us similar results on performing the tests. 

Ice Water Test 

At first, we need to take a glass and then fill it up with ice. Then we need to pour some water into the glass until all the gaps between the ice pieces are filled. Then we need to leave it for resting for about one or two minutes. We need to stir it a few times to ensure uniformity. Then we need to hold the thermometer approximately 3” away from the top surface of the ice water. We need to make sure that the Infrared sensor is centered and at an angle of 90 degrees over the surface of the ice water. If we don’t make the angle right, then the field of view may include the glass walls or even the surroundings. This will lead to inaccuracy of the readings. So, we need to place our IR thermometer correctly and perform the test. The reading should approximately be 32.0 Degree Fahrenheit within our thermometer’s stated accuracy specification.

Infrared Comparator Cup 

We use this device for comparing our infrared thermometer’s accuracy with an immersion-type thermometer that is calibrated at any temperature except that of the ice water. There is a flat surface inside the aluminium cup. The flat surface has a matte black coating. The surface is shielded from the air currents present in the room, by the walls of the cup. The base mass is responsible for providing temperature stability. We need to insert the reference thermometer and then leave it for a few minutes for stabilizing. Then we need to point the Infrared thermometer carefully at the target inside the cup. Then we need to check the Infrared thermometer’s reading and compare it with that of the reference thermometer’s reading within the mentioned specification. 

These are some of the effective ways we can measure the accuracy of our Infrared thermometers. But is there a solution that will not even require any accuracy check? 

The answer is “yes”. 

How MachineSense can help here

At MachineSense, we have found a solution to this problem. As you may know by now, we have gained immense popularity with our product, FeverWarn, a no-contact temperature sensing device that measures temperature from our fists and wrists. It was a global hit because of various reasons. 

Now, we have come up with yet another new technology, the “OPX Technology” for advanced thermometers. It ensures the accuracy of temperature measurement and minimizes the effects of external weather conditions. Our scientists invented this algorithmic solution for predicting the core body temperature with the use of certain additional sensor readings, like the spatial distance of scanning and the ambient temperature. This technology has a combination of artificial intelligence algorithms and spatial geometric sensors. It is responsible for filtering out the hot or cold weather effects. A futuristic technology that is going to take over the world, our OPX thermometers are already making quite some noise. Besides, handheld scanners had an issue of direct or indirect sunlight interference. The OPX Technology has got that covered as well. 

This technology is inbuilt inside the FeverWarn mass temperature scanners. As a result, these scanners can measure our accurate body temperature, no matter how cold or hot the outside weather is. With this, the temperatures can be measured both indoors and outdoors. No matter where we are getting scanned, we will always get accurate results. In no time, this technology is going to get incorporated within the specialized shields and housings. Because of this, temperature scanning is going to be accurate outside the entrance gates of buildings. There will be two variants that will deal with two types of situations. It will handle warmer temperatures and will also handle freezing temperatures (below 40 Degree Fahrenheit). It will protect us from condensation and rain.

This game-changer technology is going to be our savior in a time of crisis. Are you ready to invest in your health? Learn all about our product today!