Thermal infrared imagery provides temperature information on target objects, and has been widely applied in non-destructive testing. However, thermal infrared imagery is not always able to display detailed textures of inspected objects, which hampers the understanding of geometric entities consisting of temperature information. Although some commercial software has been developed for 3D thermal model displays, the software requires the use of expensive specific thermal infrared sensors. This study proposes a cost-effective method for 3D thermal model reconstruction based on image-based modeling. Two smart phones and a low-cost thermal infrared camera are employed to acquire visible images and thermal images, respectively, that are fused for 3D thermal model reconstruction. The experiment results demonstrate that the proposed method is able to effectively reconstruct a 3D thermal model which extremely approximates its corresponding entity. The total computational time for the 3D thermal model reconstruction is intensive while generating dense points required for the creation of a geometric entity. Future work will improve the efficiency of the proposed method in order to expand its potential applications to in-time monitoring.
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