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Infrared (IR) technology has been on important conduit for helping humans learn more about our world.

For example, astronomy would not be as advanced as it today without the use of infrared technology.

Opening space science to the infrared region of the spectrum has contributed greatly to our understanding of many extremely distant objects in the Universe that are visible only in the infrared.

Additionally, infrared technology has allowed space scientists to better understand the process of star formation from the early stages of proto-stars surrounded by opaque envelopes of circumstellar material to the formation of jets and outflows seen in later stages of stellar evolution to the collapse of some of the material to a circumstellar disk around a star.

Also, the technologies used in infrared astronomy have evolved into military and medical applications as well.

Within the electromagnetic spectrum, infrared waves occur at frequencies above those of microwaves and just below those of red visible light, hence the name “infrared.”

Waves of infrared radiation are longer than those of visible light, according to the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). IR frequencies range from about 300 gigahertz (GHz) up to about 400 terahertz (THz), and wavelengths are estimated to range between 1,000 micrometers (µm) and 760 nanometers (2.9921 inches), although these values are not definitive, according to NASA.

Similar to the visible light spectrum, which ranges from violet (the shortest visible-light wavelength) to red (longest wavelength), infrared radiation has its own range of wavelengths. The shorter “near-infrared” waves, which are closer to visible light on the electromagnetic spectrum, don’t emit any detectable heat and are what’s discharged from a TV remote control to change the channels.

The longer “far-infrared” waves, which are closer to the microwave section on the electromagnetic spectrum, can be felt as intense heat, such as the heat from sunlight or fire

Want to learn more? Tonex offers Fundamentals of Infrared (IR) Technology, a 2-day course that provides a basic understanding of the physical background and engineering considerations required for the design of IR systems, examining all components and combining them into imaging, sensor and surveillance systems.

Participants will learn about state-of-the-art optical systems, lightweight mirrors and adaptive optics, planar-hybrid and Z-technology focal planes, design of a ground-based IR astronomical telescope,  laser-radar systems.

For more information, questions, comments, contact us.

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