Definition

infrared transmission

Also see infrared radiation.

Infrared transmission refers to energy in the region of the electromagnetic radiation spectrum at wavelengths longer than those of visible light, but shorter than those of radio waves. Correspondingly, infrared frequencies are higher than those of microwaves, but lower than those of visible light.

Scientists divide the infrared radiation (IR) spectrum into three regions. The wavelengths are specified in microns (symbolized µ, where 1 µ = 10-6 meter) or in nanometers (abbreviated nm, where 1 nm = 10-9 meter = 0.001 5). The near IR band contains energy in the range of wavelengths closest to the visible, from approximately 0.750 to 1.300 5 (750 to 1300 nm). The intermediate IR band (also called the middle IR band) consists of energy in the range 1.300 to 3.000 5 (1300 to 3000 nm). The far IR band extends from 2.000 to 14.000 5 (3000 nm to 1.4000 x 104 nm).

Infrared is used in a variety of wireless communications, monitoring, and control applications. Here are some examples:

  • Home-entertainment remote-control boxes

  • Wireless (local area networks)

  • Links between notebook computers and desktop computers

  • Cordless modem

  • Intrusion detectors

  • Motion detectors

  • Fire sensors

  • Night-vision systems

  • Medical diagnostic equipment

  • Missile guidance systems

  • Geological monitoring devices

Transmitting IR data from one device to another is sometimes referred to as beaming.

This was last updated in April 2007

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