A webinar on infrared thermometers (IRTs) was held by the National Institute of Metrology (NIM), China, on July 8, 2020. The webinar was intended for colleagues to exchange ideas and experience in order to promote the research and international cooperation on IRTs and better use infrared thermometry for public health challenges. More than 270 people from about 80 countries or regions across 5 continents attended the webinar.
Fig.1 Meeting room at NIM, China
The webinar was hosted by Dr. Inseok Yang from Korea Research Institute of Standards and Science (KRISS), Chair of Technical Committee for Thermometry (TCT) of Asia Pacific Metrology Programme (APMP). Dr. Yuning Duan, Vice Director General of NIM and Chair of Consultative Committee for Thermometry (CCT) of International Committee for Weights and Measures (CIPM), delivered an opening speech.
During the webinar, five invited speakers delivered presentations on challenges of using IRTs in public health, fundamentals of radiation thermometry, international comparisons of blackbodies for IRTs, calibration and application of IRTs, etc. They are Prof. Graham Machin from National Physical Laboratory (NPL), UK, Dr. Klaus Anhalt from Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), Germany, Dr. Li Wang from National Metrology Centre (NMC) of A*STAR, Singapore, Dr. Xiaofeng Lu and Ms. Chengyu Bai from NIM. The webinar was well received by the attendees, with some 80 questions raised to the speakers.
Fig. 2 Invited speakers and host
Fig. 3 Presentation on international comparisons by Xiaofeng Lu of NIM
Fig. 4 Presentation on calibration and application of IRTs by Chengyu Bai of NIM
Since the COVID-19 outbreak in early 2020, IRTs have been widely used for body temperature screening of massive people in many countries. Consequently, the use of IRTs and demand for calibration have surged, and how to effectively calibrate and correctly use IRTs have been drawing the attention of metrologists and users across the globe. NIM has done a considerable amount of work on IRTs and accumulated profound experience in the fighting against COVID-19 and the previous SARS and H1N1 influenza. Moreover, NIM participated, as the pilot laboratory, an APMP international comparison of blackbodies for infrared ear thermometers from 2017 to 2020, which is the first formal international comparison of blackbodies for infrared ear thermometers.
Based on those experiences, NIM proposed to hold a webinar on IRTs. The webinar was supported especially by CIPM CCT and APMP, and it also received positive response from colleagues in the field of thermometry as well as those from health departments of governments, medical institutions, and relevant enterprises worldwide.
The webinar is the first online academic seminar organized by NIM during the pandemic. By successfully holding it, NIM explored a new way for international exchanges under the "new normal", hoping to attract more attention to the application of infrared thermometry against public health challenges and promote research and international cooperation in this regard. Recordings of the webinar and answers to the collected questions will be available on the website of NIM (https://en.nim.ac.cn/taxonomy/term/250).
Text: Li Jinyuan, Feng Xiaojuan
Photo: Feng Xiaojuan