Infrared Thermography (IR)

By Gary Johannsen

“Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.”

– Jonathan Swift

View of facility using infrared thermography
Infrared Thermography (IR) Closeup. Photo: Justin Dent

Infrared Thermography (IR), using state-of-the-art infrared imagers and digital thermal image processing, provides the Smithsonian Institution with precisely this vision.

IR imaging is used to see and measure thermal energy that is not visible to the human eye by producing images of the radiant flux emitted from an object. This allows us to assess, in a non-destructive, cost-effective, and efficient way, how our facilities and components react to everyday use, aging, and repairs.

The Smithsonian Institution uses infrared imaging to evaluate structural building envelope performance, perform roofing assessments and evaluate energy conservation measures. It also uses IR to provide real-time evaluation of mechanical and electrical equipment relied on for the preservation of artifacts, collections, and buildings.

This technology allows for both predictive and preventive maintenance by providing quick and accurate inspections that translate into scheduled shutdowns of failing equipment, repair criteria, and planned resource management.

The application of IR data results in well-documented infrared surveys and reporting information, including comprehensive photographic documentation and guidance for repairs. This data is utilized by the Smithsonian to make necessary facilities updates, changes, and repairs.

By providing the technological tools necessary to ensure the integrity and protection of our facilities, IR imaging helps the Smithsonian Institution preserve the National treasures held within its walls.

Gary Johannsen
SED, Systems Reliability
Certified Level 2 Thermographer
Certified Building Sciences Thermographer
Certified Level 2 Airborne Ultrasound Inspector