Thermal imaging systems effectively transform heat i.e. thermal energy into visible light in order to analyze the environment. These systems are highly precise and they require a small amount of heat to create thermal images. It is a method of increasing the visibility of objects in darkness by detecting infrared radiations from the object and creating thermal images based on this information. The thermal imaging technology was developed for use in military operations and applications that require clear vision in low-light conditions such as in the evening, at night, or in foggy atmosphere. Customized thermal imaging cameras are used in the food industry for temperature measurements. Custom thermal imaging systems are also applied in the automobile industry for quality control of air bags and temperature control during the manufacturing process of vehicle parts.

Rising demand for custom thermal imaging in machine-vision-based industrial applications and increasing demand for residential security applications are driving the custom thermal imaging market. Additionally, increasing popularity of custom thermal imaging for use in mobile cameras is expected to boost the market during the forecast period. Increasing need for thermal monitoring and inspection in the military & defense sector has led to increasing demand for development of thermal imaging systems. These systems witness high demand in the defense & aerospace sector for use in border security for law enforcement. Increasing demand for more advanced custom thermal imaging systems creates revenue opportunity from different customer segments for customer thermal imaging manufacturers. The development of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for use in airborne thermal imaging is expected to boost the market growth during the forecast period. Prices of thermal imaging systems customized for residential and commercial applications are higher than other surveillance systems. There exist certain export limitations on military custom thermal imaging systems, due to security-related concerns. This restrains the market for custom thermal imaging.

The global custom thermal imaging market can be categorized based on type, application, end-user, platform, and geography. Based on type, the market can be segmented into scopes, cameras, and modules. Based on application, the market can be categorized into monitoring & inspection, security & surveillance, and detection. The monitoring & inspection segment includes machine condition monitoring, structural health monitoring, and quality assessment. The security & surveillance segment comprises perimeter security, tracking, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The detection segment includes gas detection, fire detection, level measurement, body temperature measurement, and research & development. Based on end-user, the custom thermal imaging market can be divided into residential, health care & life science, aerospace & defense, food & beverages, automotive, and oil & gas. In terms of platform, the market can be segregated into portable and fixed mounted.

Based on geography, the global custom thermal imaging market can be segmented into Europe, North America, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, and South America. North America is estimated to hold a dominant share of the global custom thermal imaging market for custom thermal imaging during the forecast period, due to presence of major manufacturers of custom thermal imaging systems and R&D centers for thermal imaging in this region. Asia Pacific is expected to be the rapidly expanding market for custom thermal imaging between 2018 and 2026, due to increasing demand for thermal imaging products for use in military applications and surveillance camera equipment in the region. Several manufacturers are expected to offer more advanced custom thermal imaging systems to different industries in the near future for expanding their customer base.

Major players operating in the global custom thermal imaging market are Teledyne Technologies, Inc., FLIR Systems, Inc., Thales Group, Lockheed Martin Corporation, L3 Technologies, Inc., BAE Systems plc, The Raytheon Company, Sofradir, Harris Corporation, and General Dynamics Mission Systems, Inc.

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