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Infrared Imaging Market Size, Share & Industry Analysis, By Technology (Cooled Infrared Imaging and Uncooled Infrared Imaging), By Wavelength (Near-Infrared, Short-Wave Infrared (SWIR), Mid-Wave Infrared (MWIR), and Long-Wave Infrared (LWIR)), By Application (Security & Surveillance, Monitoring & Inspection, and Detection), By Vertical (Aerospace & Defense, Automotive, Healthcare, Industrial, and Others), and Regional Forecast, 2024-2032

Last Updated: May 03, 2024 | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI102601



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The global infrared imaging market size was valued at USD 7.35 billion in 2023 and is projected to grow from USD 7.94 billion in 2024 to USD 12.78 billion by 2032, exhibiting a CAGR of 6.1% during the forecast period.


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Infrared imaging or IR imaging is a technique of capturing and visualizing infrared light from objects and converting it into visible images interpretable by the human eye. The infrared scale is spread across a 10-100 micrometer wavelength range in the electromagnetic region. It can be divided into three bands - near-IR region (0.7 to 1.3 microns), the shortwave-IR region (1.3 to 3 microns) and thermal-IR region. Thermal-IR includes mid-wave-IR region (3 to 5 microns) and longwave-IR (8 to 12 microns). Hence, thermal imaging is a subset of IR imaging.

While the near-IR and short-IR are employed in common electronic applications, such as remote control and illumination infrared photography, thermal infrared is used in thermal imaging. The primary distinction is that the first two are used in reflecting applications, whereas thermal IR is emitted from the object rather than reflected by it. Infrared thermography was initially developed to enhance military capabilities. The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic had a major impact on the infrared imaging market as it helped push IR imaging forward due to the growing concern of healthcare professionals and patients about the spread of the virus. The use of IR imaging in the treatment of acute diseases, such as stroke, myocardial infarction and other malignancies, decreased significantly as governments across the globe restricted elective surgeries, mainly focused on COVID-19.

Infrared Imaging Market Trends

Multispectral Imaging and Integration of AI & ML are Prominent Market Trends

Multispectral imaging and integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Machine Learning (ML) are the key trends gaining popularity in the market. Major companies are focusing on multispectral imaging and the integration of AI and ML to further improve the capabilities in various end use industries.  Multispectral imaging captures image data in specific wavelength ranges across the entire electromagnetic spectrum. Wavelengths can be separated by filters or detected by instruments sensitive to specific wavelengths, including light outside the visible light range, i.e. infrared and ultraviolet.

A multispectral imager can give wavelength channels for near-UV, red, green, blue, near-infrared, mid-infrared, and far-infrared light, as well as thermal radiation for thermal imaging. For instance, in January 2023, the U.S. Army Research Office awarded a USD 4.8 million grant to a Mizzou engineer and colleague at the University of Notre Dame to enable the creation of new generation multispectral infrared imagers. The team is employing Artificial Intelligence (AI) to revolutionize the functioning of infrared sensors.

In 2022, the researchers were granted a patent for metasurface-integrated microbolometers, which contain networks of tiny antenna elements to give spectrum and polarization selectivity to the infrared sensors. The researchers will utilize ML to enable the metasurface-integrated microbolometers to extract chemical environments captured by thermal cameras using the new grant. Additionally, helmet-mounted sights, unmanned aerial vehicles, robots, and driver assistance systems for military vehicles are the other possible platforms.

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Infrared Imaging Market Growth Factors

Rising Demand for Infrared Thermography from Defense Sector to Drive Market Growth

Infrared (IR) wavelengths are a major focus of military and defense research & development programs as most of the times surveillance and targeting operations take place at night. The military primarily employs infrared technology in the form of night vision goggles, missile guidance heads, and aerial Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) scanners. The increasing demand for IR imaging technology from military and defense sectors will catalyze the global infrared imaging market growth.

For instance, in December 2022, LightPath Technologies, Inc., a U.S.-based manufacturer and integrator of optical and infrared technologies, announced that it awarded a contract worth USD 2.5 million to provide advanced infrared optics for a critical international military program. The program, which would make use of the company's superior optics, focused on IR imaging and threat detection. The program had a high profile and was used by all branches of the U.S. military.

Additionally, in November 2021, L3Harris Technologies constructed a new state-of-the-art facility worth USD 110 million in Waterdown, Ontario, Canada, to meet the growing demand for its WESCAM MX-Series electro-optical and IR imaging technologies. WESCAM MX-Series multi-sensor, multi-spectral, Electro-Optic And Infrared (EO/IR) surveillance and targeting systems from L3Harris carry out intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and target acquisition tasks from platforms in the air, land, and sea domains.

Increasing Adoption of Infrared Imaging in Agriculture and Precision Farming to Catalyze Market Growth

Infrared thermography is being increasingly utilized in agriculture for precision farming. It helps monitor crop health, water stress, and pest infestations. This helps farmers optimize irrigation, fertilization, and pesticide applications, which ultimately leads to increased yields and resource efficiency. For instance, in November 2021, AgEagle Aerial Systems Inc., an industry-leading provider of full-stack drone, sensor, and software solutions, announced the release of MicaSense's most innovative drone sensor to date, named Altum-PT.

Altum-PT is a three-in-one solution tailored for enhanced remote sensing and agricultural research. In just one flight, it effortlessly merges an ultra-high resolution panchromatic imager, a built-in 320X256 radiometric thermal imager, and five independent spectral bands to create synchronized outputs. These outputs include RGB color, crop vigor, heat maps, and high resolution panchromatic.

Altum-PT, which claims to have twice the spatial resolution of the previous Altum sensor, will provide users with deeper analytical capabilities to detect issues at the plant level even in the early stages of growth. It can also conduct early-stage stand counting and season-long soil monitoring.


High Initial Investment and Research & Development Costs May Hamper Market Growth

The high costs of infrared thermography technologies can be a significant impediment to their general adoption. The initial capital required to purchase IR imaging equipment can be significant. High-quality infrared cameras and sensors, which are required for accurate and dependable imaging, are expensive. This price factor may dissuade small and medium-sized businesses from investing in infrared thermography systems. Research & Development (R&D) activities are necessary to bring advancements in IR imaging technology and enhance its resolution, sensitivity, and other performance characteristics.

In addition, the higher price of products may be due to increased research and development costs and the introduction of innovative technologies. Traditional cooled infrared detectors are more sensitive and efficient than their uncooled counterparts but cost much more. These factors are expected to hinder the growth of the market during the forecast period.

Infrared Imaging Market Segmentation Analysis

By Technology Analysis

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Uncooled Infrared Imaging to Gain Traction Due to Rising Demand for Compact and Affordable IR Imaging Systems

By technology, the market is categorized into cooled infrared imaging and uncooled infrared imaging. The uncooled infrared imaging segment dominates the infrared imaging market share and is estimated to be the fastest growing segment during the forecast period due to rising demand for compact and less expensive IR imaging systems from various end-use industries. Uncooled detectors use materials that change their electrical properties in response to infrared radiation, and these changes are converted into electrical signals to produce thermal images. Uncooled infrared cameras are commonly used in commercial applications, such as surveillance, building inspection, firefighting, and consumer thermal imaging cameras where extreme sensitivity and low-range performance are required.

The cooled infrared imaging segment will also hold a major market share. Cooled thermographic cameras have an image sensor integrated with a cryogenic cooler, which lowers the sensor's temperature to cryogenic levels. This reduction in sensor temperature is necessary to reduce heat-induced noise to a level lower than that of the captured scene signal. The increasing demand for thermal imaging to improve CCTV environments is anticipated to boost the growth of this segment.

By Wavelength Analysis

Rising Demand for Surveillance and Homeland Security to Boost Adoption of Long-Wave Infrared (LWIR)

By wavelength, the market is bifurcated into near-infrared, Short-Wave Infrared (SWIR), Mid-Wave Infrared (MWIR), and Long-Wave Infrared (LWIR). The LWIR segment is dominating the market and expected to register significant growth during the forecast period due to its increasing use in surveillance, homeland security, object detection, and other scientific & industrial applications. Long-Wave Infrared (LWIR) is a subset of the infrared band of the electromagnetic spectrum that covers a wavelength ranging from 8 to 14 microns.

The Short-Wave Infrared (SWIR) segment is estimated to be the fastest growing segment during the forecast period due to increasing demand for quality control and product inspection technologies. Short-Wave IR (SWIR) is a subset of the infrared band of the electromagnetic spectrum, which covers a wavelength range of 1.4 to 3 microns. Since this wavelength is invisible to the human eye, it can often provide better images than visible light imaging.

By Application Analysis

Growing Demand from Law Enforcement Agencies to Increase Product Adoption in Security & Surveillance Applications

The market, by application, is segmented into security & surveillance, monitoring & inspection, and detection. The security & surveillance segment dominates the market and is expected to register a significant growth owing to the rising product demand from law enforcement agencies and government entities. Security and surveillance systems use various types of equipment to monitor and protect the general public and assets from potential threats and unauthorized access.

The monitoring & inspection segment is expected to be the fastest growing segment due to increasing product demand from the Testing, Inspection, and Certification (TIC) sector. Monitoring & inspection comprises examining and evaluating activities, a process, or an object to ensure its compliance with the established standards. This aids in maintaining quality standards across various sectors.

By Vertical Analysis

Aerospace & Defense to Dominate Market Due to Increasing Use of Infrared Thermography for Non-Destructive Testing

By vertical, the market is segregated into aerospace & defense, automotive, healthcare, industrial, and others. The aerospace & defense segment dominates the market and is expected to grow significantly due to the increasing use of infrared thermography for non-destructive testing. Infrared thermography is used for non-destructive inspection of aircraft engine components and equipment to ensure crew safety and prevent breakdowns and technical problems. This technology provides more accurate testing than traditional methods, so it can detect more specific errors.

The automotive segment is expected to be the fastest growing one due to the rising demand for Advanced Driving Assistance Systems (ADAS) globally. ADAS vehicles and Autonomous Vehicles (AVs) require sensors that provide sufficient scene data for detection and classification algorithms to navigate autonomously in all conditions. Thermal or Long-Wave Infrared (LWIR) cameras can detect and classify pedestrians in dark or foggy conditions and are immune to sun glare. Hence, they provide better situational awareness for more robust, reliable, and secure Advanced Driving Assistance Systems (ADAS) and AV systems.


North America Infrared Imaging Market Size, 2023 (USD Billion)

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In terms of geography, the market is divided into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Rest of the World.

North America dominated the market share and was valued at USD 2.82 billion in 2023. This growth is attributed to the presence of major OEMs and rising mergers & acquisitions in the region. For instance, in May 2021, Teledyne Technologies Incorporated, a U.S.-based company that specialized in digital imaging products and instrumentation, completed the acquisition of FLIR Systems for a deal amount of USD 8.2 billion. This acquisition further increased Teledyne’s capabilities and geographical presence in the North American market. FLIR Systems, Inc. is a U.S.-based company that specializes in the design and production of thermal imaging cameras and sensors.

Europe captured the second-largest market share in the base year. The regional market’s growth is due to the increasing demand for infrared thermography from the region’s healthcare industry. For instance, in March 2023, the Government Office for Technology Transfer (GOTT) U.K. funded the development of a revolutionary thermal imaging technology developed by the National Physical Laboratory (NPL). A team at NPL, the U.K.'s national metrology laboratory, developed a new thermal imaging technique that can accurately capture the temperature of the entire surface of the foot in seconds. This reduces the risk of doctors missing thousands of potential ulcers each year. It may have further uses in other medical applications.

Asia Pacific held a significant market share in the base year and is expected to be the fastest growing region during the forecast period. The rapid growth of this region is owing to the large-scale industrialization and fast-paced infrastructure development. China, Japan, India, and South Korea have increased the demand for infrared cameras in their manufacturing and construction sectors. Additionally, the region's growing defense and security expenditures have further boosted the market growth.

The Rest of the World, which includes the Middle East & Africa is anticipated to witness moderate growth in the global market during the forecast period. The growing demand for monitoring and inspection technologies from the oil & gas sector is predicted to propel the market growth.

List of Key Companies in Infrared Imaging Market

Product Innovations, Technological Advancements, and Mergers & Acquisitions are Key Focus of Leading Players

The global market share is consolidated with key players, such as Teledyne Technologies Incorporated, Fluke Corporation, Leonardo DRS, Inc., L3 Harris Technologies, Inc., Zhejiang Dali Technology Ltd., and others. These major players are focusing on product innovations, technological advancements, and mergers & acquisitions to increase their market share.

For instance, in May 2023, IRay Technology Co., Ltd. (InfiRay), a China-based company that manufactures optical components, showcased its innovative technologies. These technologies include professional infrared and thermal imaging solutions for UAVs, unmanned systems, and robotics. The company's handheld thermal imaging camera product line launched several new devices with different resolutions and fields of view to meet the diverse applications and needs of different industries.



  • May 2023 - Leonardo DRS, Inc. revealed the application of its advanced high-precision radiometer technology to measure the Earth's surface temperature from space. The Multiband Uncooled SmallSat Imaging Radiometer (MUSIR) payload, equipped with the company's unique uncooled thermal imaging radiometer technology, is now being utilized for an innovative demonstration mission with NASA. This groundbreaking use of MUSIR is a significant step toward establishing small and cost-effective satellite constellations.

  • November 2022 - Teledyne FLIR, part of Teledyne Technologies Incorporated, collaborated with RealWear, a pioneer in wearable-assisted reality solutions, as its newest Thermal by FLIR partner, recently launching the world's first fully hands-free voice-controlled thermal imaging camera module. Additionally, Thermal by FLIR cohort Ulefone recently launched the Power Armor 18T 5G Android phone, the first mobile phone with a Lepton 3.5 thermal imaging camera module.

  • May 2021 - Lynred, a leading provider of Infrared (IR) detectors based in Grenoble, France, was awarded a contract by Thales Alenia Space in Cannes, France. The contract involved supplying Lynred's large Short-Wave Infrared (SWIR) detector, known as NGP (Next-Generation Panchromatic), for the CO2M mission, which is a crucial part of Europe's Copernicus program. The Copernicus program is the European Commission's primary satellite Earth observation initiative and a fundamental aspect of the European Space Agency's (ESA) activities in the same field.

  • April 2021 - Lynred, a provider of Infrared (IR) detectors based in Grenoble, France, was chosen by Airbus Defense & Space (ADS) in Taufkirchen, Germany as the designated developer of a new linear Short-Wave Infrared (SWIR) array. This move aimed to fulfill the specific needs of the imager instrument on the European Copernicus Land Surface Temperature Monitoring (LSTM) mission, where ADS serves as the prime contractor.

  • April 2021 - Excelitas Technologies Corp., a renowned global technology pioneer providing tailored photonic solutions, made a notable debut sale of its newest long-range, High Definition (HD) MWIR Camera - OrcIR. The OrcIR integrates cutting-edge small pitch sensor technology with a specially designed continuous zoom lens, resulting in outstanding long-range imaging capabilities within a compact form factor.


The report provides a detailed analysis of the industry. It studies all major aspects such as R&D capabilities and optimization of the operating services. Moreover, it offers insights into the market forecast, trends, regional analysis, porter’s five forces analysis, competitive landscape of various companies profiled, and market competition, and highlights key industry developments. In addition to the above-mentioned factors, the report mainly focuses on several factors that have contributed to the global market’s growth in recent years.

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Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Estimated Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period


Growth Rate

CAGR of 6.1% from 2024 to 2032


Value (USD Billion)


By Technology

  • Cooled Infrared Imaging

  • Uncooled Infrared Imaging

By Wavelength

  • Near-Infrared

  • Short-Wave Infrared (SWIR)

  • Mid-Wave Infrared (MWIR)

  • Long-Wave Infrared (LWIR)

By Application

  • Security & Surveillance

  • Monitoring & Inspection

  • Detection

By Vertical

  • Aerospace & Defense

  • Automotive

  • Healthcare

  • Industrial

  • Others

By Geography

  • North America (By Technology, Wavelength, Application, Vertical, and Country)

    • U.S. (By Vertical)

    • Canada (By Vertical)

  • Europe (By Technology, Wavelength, Application, Vertical, and Country)

    • U.K. (By Vertical)

    • Germany (By Vertical)

    • France (By Vertical)

    • Rest of Europe (By Vertical)

  • Asia Pacific (By Technology, Wavelength, Application, Vertical, and Country)

    • China (By Vertical)

    • India (By Vertical)

    • Japan (By Vertical)

    • Rest of Asia Pacific (By Vertical)

  • Rest of the World (By Technology, Wavelength, Application, Vertical, and Sub-Region)

    • Middle East & Africa (By Vertical)

    • Latin America (By Vertical)

Frequently Asked Questions

As per the Fortune Business Insights study, the market size was valued at USD 7.35 billion in 2023.

The market is likely to record a CAGR of 6.1% over the forecast period of 2024-2032.

Aerospace & defense to dominate market due to increasing use of infrared thermography for non-destructive testing.

The market size in North America stood at USD 2.82 billion in 2023.

Rising demand for infrared thermography from the defense sector and increasing adoption of IR imaging in agriculture and precision farming are expected to drive the market.

Some of the top players in the market are Teledyne Technologies Incorporated, Fluke Corporation, Leonardo DRS, Inc., L3 Harris Technologies, Inc., Zhejiang Dali Technology Ltd., and others.

The U.S. dominated the market in 2023.

High initial investment and research & development costs are expected to hamper the market.

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