An infrared detector is simply a transducer of radiant energy, converting radiant energy in the infrared into a measurable form. Infrared detectors can be used for a variety of applications in the military, scientific, industrial, medical, security and automotive arenas. Since infrared radiation does not rely on visible light, it offers the possibility of seeing in the dark or through obscured conditions, by detecting the infrared energy emitted by objects. The detected energy is translated into imagery showing the energy differences between objects, thus allowing an otherwise obscured scene to be seen.
Under infrared light, the world reveals features not apparent under regular visible light. People and animals are easily seen in total darkness, weaknesses are revealed in structures, components close to failure glow brighter, visibility is improved in adverse condition such as smoke or fog.