Thermal and Infrared Imaging Lab – Dave Pascoe, Ph.D.

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The Thermal and Infrared Imaging Lab features a 12’ by 12’ environmental chamber. It allows our researchers to investigate climatic conditions between 140 degrees Celsius to -40 degrees Celsius, and 10 to 80 percent humidity. The lab also has exercise equipment such as treadmills, cycle ergometers, and velodyne equipment.  Researchers can perform oxygen consumption analyses on subjects.

Additionally, the lab has three infrared imaging systems that provide non-contact, non-invasive skin surface temperature maps. They can measure skin temperatures to the nearest 0.05 degrees Celsius. They can also perform core temperature monitoring. Thermal analysis allows the researchers to evaluate the interchange between core-skin temperature and the environment during situations of thermoregulation. It is used as a research-diagnostic tool for sports medicine in humans as well as illness or injury in animals. This thermal technology has been utilized in research efforts related to industry (thermal clothing, protective barrier suits), medical pathology (carpal tunnel syndrome, Raynaud’s syndrome), sympathetic responses to thermal stress, and neural and vascular blood flow pathologies.

Furthermore, the lab investigates issues related to thermoregulation and protective gear. Applications include forestry, firefighting, athletics, industry, leisure clothing, and UV clothing. Some of the recent projects have studied clothing that has been engineered to provide better protection from environmental stressors. The lab has also studied creatine ingestion in the heat, and the efficiency of running in the heat. Another interesting project studies villi in the gut after exposure to heat, with and without a probiotic. Much of the research from this lab has been presented at international meetings.

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