Influence of environmental factors on infrared eye temperature measurements in cattle.

Church, J.S., Hegadoren, P.R., Paetkau, M.J., Miller, C.C., Regev-Shoshani, G., Schaefer, A.L., and Schwartzkopf-Genswein, K.S.G. (2013). "Influence of environmental factors on infrared eye temperature measurements in cattle.", Research in Veterinary Science, 96(1), pp. 220-226. doi : 10.1016/j.rvsc.2013.11.006  Access to full text


Environmental factors were evaluated to determine potential limitations in using cattle eye temperatures obtained through infrared thermography (IRT) for early disease detection systems or in animal welfare research studies. The effects of the following factors on IRT eye temperatures in cattle and a fabricated surrogate “eye” were evaluated: camera to object distance, wind speed, camera settings (distance, emissivity, and humidity), and solar loading. Wind speed in both live animals and using a surrogate “eye” was found to decrease the IRT temperature. In the presence of ∼7 km/h wind, the mean IRT eye temperature decreased by 0.43 ± 0.13 °C and; at higher wind speeds (∼12 km/h), the temperature decreased by 0.78 ± 0.33 °C. Direct sunlight was found to increase the IRT eye temperature by 0.56 ± 0.36 °C. It was determined that environmental factors impact IRT temperature measurements significantly and therefore must be managed to ensure reproducible and accurate readings.

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