Because thermal imaging cameras display differences in temperature within a scene, they are powerful tools for evaluating environmental conditions, seeing through smoke, and even detecting icebergs.
Oil Spill Management
Thermal cameras can reveal oil slicks on water. Water has a lower emissivity than oil, so the cool night sky reflects off the water where the oil reflects less and looks warmer.
Visible light is absorbed by smoke particulate, but thermal energy passes right through it. Thermal technology lets you see the location of the fire, and to see activity onboard through the smoke.
All objects give off varying amounts of thermal energy, even icebergs. By adding color to objects below a specified temperature, FLIR cameras can help reveal icebergs at night or during the day.