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Public Laboratory Infrared Camera

Main Project Information
Goal Develop, apply open-source tools to environmental exploration
Task Incorporate this DIY infrared camera into your research.
Where Global, anywhere on the planet

Infrared photography can help in assessing plant health, and has been used on satellites and planes for agricultural and ecological assessment primarily by vineyards, large farms and large-scale (read: expensive) research projects. By creating and open-sourcing a low-cost near-infrared camera and working with wetlands advocates, farmers and environmental activists, the Public Lab community has begun to explore grassroots uses for this powerful analytic technique.

As featured in Chapter 2 of Citizen Science by Caren Cooper.

How to Join

Public Lab is an open community (join now: which investigates environmental issues with DIY tools. To get involved you can make your own infrared camera using the easy to follow video tutorial, create a user profile on the Public Lab website, join the listserve and post research notes on how you use and modify the infrared camera.

Social Media
Expenses $60
Required Gear

A point and shoot camera (currently many people like using the Canon A495 that costs about $54), a jewelers screwdrive ($2 from Ace hardware), exposed film negatives and a piece of duct tape.

Ideal Age Group Adults
Type of Activity In oceans, streams, rivers, lakes, While fishing, On a hike, Emergency Response, At the beach, On a walk, run, At school, At a science center, zoo or aquarium
Media Mentions
and Publications
Tags aerial-mapping, diy, near-infrared, open-source, tools
Project Updated 08/05/2017