‘Explore your Universe’ is a national project aimed at providing selected UK science and discovery centres and museums with high-end equipment, workshop resources, training and other support to enable them to involve their visitors in cutting-edge programmes around the physical sciences.
The aim is to give young people the confidence, curiosity and interest to continue to explore and ask questions long after they get home.
A package of all the equipment necessary to run the activities was provided for ten selected Museums and Discovery Centres as part of the project. Dr. Michaela Livingstone, special projects manager at ASDC realized that a thermal imaging camera would be essential as it would allow the investigation of the characteristics of infrared and explain how scientists use it in researching how stars were formed. The camera, however, had to be rugged enough to withstand handling by many thousands of people, be very accurate and give instant meaningful results.
Having reviewed a number of cameras, ASDC selected FLIR model E30 – a lightweight camera with a 3.5” LCD colour touch screen with 160 x 120 pixel resolution that can detect temperatures between 0° and 250°C with an accuracy of ±2% and thermal sensitivity of <0.01°C.
Livingstone commented: “Without doubt the FLIR cameras have been the most popular equipment in the package – everyone wants to have a go! We estimate they have been used by over 130,000 people in the last few months and apart from a minor problem on one of the cameras they have been extremely reliable.”