The South Korean Government is going to work on developing an international standard for measuring performance of infrared thermal camera. It is going to create standards on performance such as accuracy of temperature sensor and present them as an international standard and also apply the standard within the country. It expects to prepare appropriate standards for managing performance of infrared thermal cameras that have caused errors such as recognizing a picture as a person due to lack of appropriate standards for quality. However, the government needs to prepare speedy policies considering the fact that it takes couple years before an international standard is set. (Reference: First page of the Electronic Times Issued on August 6)
According to the industry, it has been confirmed that the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy’s Korean Agency for Technology and Standards (KATS) initiated a project regarding “development of international standard for measuring resolution power, temperature measurement range and accuracy of temperature sensor of infrared thermal camera used to detect signs of fever” earlier this month.
This project is a part of the “National Standard Technology Improvement Program” and it is expected to be a four-year project. For this year, it will be a part of “K-quarantine model” and it is made up of the third revised supplementary budget.
KATS is going to develop a standard for measuring temperature range of infrared thermal camera based on resolution and accuracy of temperature measurement within the range as well. It will then present the standard as an international standard and look into applying the standard to the Korean Industrial Standards (KS) certification system as well.
According to KATS, although there are ways of measuring temperature utilizing temperature sensor of infrared thermal camera, there is not any method or standard for testing based on resolution or measuring entire range of operating temperature. It is a great opportunity for South Korea to present an international standard and lead global markets.

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Fundamentally, KATS will propose a standard for measuring performance of industrial infrared thermal camera as an international standard. It plans to propose a draft to the International Electrotechnical Commission’s Technical Committee 79 that is in charge of “alarm and electronic security system”. Afterwards, it will also look into applying the corresponding standard to medical infrared thermal cameras that are managed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
“We are going to focus on proposing an international standard for industrial infrared thermal cameras first and then look into ways for connecting the standard to “ISO TC210 (quality management and general aspects of medical devices)” that is related to medical infrared thermal cameras.” said a representative for KATS. “Once the standard becomes an international standard, we will also look for ways to have the standard in accordance with our country.”
This project is meaningful as it creates a standard for verifying performance of infrared thermal cameras when COVID-19 is spreading globally. Once an international standard is established, cameras will become more accurate while cameras with poor quality will be sorted out.
However, it will be difficult to establish a system that can manage infrared thermal cameras that cause different errors right away due to an absence of appropriate standards. As a result, there needs to be speedy policies since the process of establishing an international standard has to go through two to four years of an agreement process.
“It takes at least three years before a standard goes from “new work item proposal” to “international standard”.” said Professor Kang Byeong-gu of Korea University. “As a result, the South Korean Government needs to work on establish a standard for our country while proposing an international standard.”
Staff Reporter Byun, Sanggeun | & Staff Reporter Kim, Yongjoo |