Thermography is a non-destructive testing technique based on the physical principle that all bodies with temperature different from the absolute zero (-273°) emit infrared electromagnetic radiation.
A thermocamera (infrared thermometer in the US) is an instrument able to detect infrared (or thermal) energy at distance, and to convert it into an electronic signal. The signal is then processed to create images in which each color corresponds to a different temperature value, to make the infrared radiation visible. The heat, measured by a thermocamera, can be quantified allowing the monitoring of a system thermal performance and the identification of thermal anomalies.
In the case of MSW landfill monitoring, thermography allows a quick detection of thermal anomalies caused by leakage of biogas, stagnation, surface runoff, shallow leachate leakage etc...
The main goal of the thermographicapproach proposed by West Systems is to provide a first zonationin support of technical field surveys, by detecting thermal anomalies and identifying potentially dangerous areas.
Thermography is an inexpensive surveillance technique. Thanks to its fast image acquisition and processing, it allows a first qualitative approach to landfills monitoring by revealing their thermal anomalies, and is therefore very useful forplanning further quantitative monitoring surveys.