Friday, March 8, 2013

What is a Borescope?

    A borescope is an inspection device with a rigid or flexible optical tube to insert into bores, pipes, holes and cavities for visual inspection. 
Borescopes are used in a wide range of industrial control and inspection applications. It consists of an objective lens in front of a long glass optic tube containing an image relay and an illumination relay. The relay tube can be rigid or flexible and is followed by a handpiece containing an eyepiece. 
Important specifications for borescopes include rigid or flexible image relay, working length, field of view (FOV), direction of view (DOV) and minimal focus distance. The image relay diameter is the diameter of probe for insertion into cavity. This diameter typically determines the minimum size hole the scope can be used within. The working length is the length of the probe.  The field of view is the viewing cone included in the viewing angle.  It is a measure of how much of the visual field is taken up by the image. The direction of view is the direction the axis of the viewing cone points, where zero degrees is straight ahead and 90 degrees is looking to the side. The minimal focus distance for the borescope is the minimum effective focusing distance.
Flexible borescopes tips may be bent back and forth using a control in the handpiece, which allows changes to view angle or navigation through paths that are not straight.  A two way articulated tip can be manipulated or "curled back".  Two-way implies single plane of articulation, as in only right-left or up-down.  A four way articulated tip can be manipulated or "curled back" in two plane articulation, as in both right-left and up-down.  Specifications for articulation range give the maximum angular articulation possible, measured from 0° as straight-ahead. It is important to know minimal bending radius. Repeated bending of a flexible borescope below the minimum bend radius will result in broken image and/or illumination fibers.
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