Infrared: Cool new uses for this hot technology - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

WEDNESDAY, September 15, 2010

Infrared: Cool new uses for this hot technology

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BONSALL (CBS 8) - Superman may have been able to see through walls, but he was never armed with the emerging technology of infrared. A business in Bonsall is going global by providing new solutions to old problems.

For thermographer Peter Hopkins, seeing is believing.

"Right now, a very hot topic is energy," Hopkins said.

Peter can tell you where you're missing insulation and exactly where your pipes are leaking water. If your roof is leaking, Peter can locate the problem area so you don't have to rip off thousands of shingle.

"If you can map where the moisture is, you only have to repair that," Peter said.

Peter's Bonsall business is expanding by the day. In fact, he's gone from houses to horses.

"You'll see anything from fractures to nerve muscle," he said.

X-rays show bones, but infrared reveals soft tissue. In 2007, Peter detected a leg fracture in the very first horse he scanned, a race horse by the name of California Flag.

"The horse won the Breeder's Cup. It's a million-dollar race but they held the horse back because of that image," Peter said.

Soon after, the San Diego Zoo called because they couldn't determine what was bothering their elephant.

"We were able to see it immediately," Peter said.

It was a tendon injury, and the phone calls keep pouring in.

"They just called me last week to look at a zebra," he said.

Five years ago an infrared camera would have cost you $20,000. Today they start at $2,000 to see aht you couldn't see before.

United Infrared Incorporated is the largest infrared servicing company in the world.

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