FLIR i3 to detect breathing

Hey guys…

I’m a final year Electrical and Electronic Engineering student, and I’m new to thermal camera technology. I wanted to get an affordable thermal camera for a competition (Flir i3 is what I found). I’ve never used one before, but I wanted to know whether or not we can detect human breathing using this camera (as in the temperature changes during exhalation). I understand that the higher the price, the better/more the resolution. I would like to know more about this once I actually try the camera.


I know my T-400 can detect thermal patterns associated with breathing

This is the other end butt may provide clarity…

Yup, and it’s from a camera about $40k more than an I3.

Now the answer to the first question; No.

It depends:

  • What is the ambient temp? - The colder the better;
  • What’s the ambient humidity? - The lower the better;
  • What’s the person’s temp? - The higher the better;
  • How hard is the subject breathing? - The harder the better.

Your imager doesn’t see / measure air temperature, so it will be dependent on the delta-T above ambient and the amount of moisture in the exhalation.

The higher the contrast and moisture content, the more likely you are to have success. If you want to check someone who just ran a sprint on a cold day, you have a really good chance (of course you will see it without infrared too). If you are trying to determine if a comatose patient is still alive, you will likely find yourself severely challenged.

Manage your relevant variables.