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When it comes to border surveillance, the trend is thermal

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Published in Industry News
Caption:The Accuracii XRU long range multi-sensor camera system provides cost effective border security surveillance Caption:The Accuracii XRU long range multi-sensor camera system provides cost effective border security surveillance

Providing effective protection of borders through thermal technology

Smuggling. Illegal immigration. Terrorist threats. These are just some of the challenges faced by governments trying to control border incursions.  As part of a series of high-tech measures to deal with the ongoing threats, there is an increasing move toward thermal imaging systems. Using these powerful systems, border guards and security forces can observe and investigate any incident occurring during the day or at night, as well as in adverse weather conditions.

Increasingly, wide area scene surveillance as well as close-up threat assessment is being carried out by high performance dual channel camera systems. Offering both day color and 24/7 thermal cameras, these powerful systems provide the capability to distinguish between normal day-to-day events and possible security threats, particularly when protecting perimeters, critical infrastructure and borders.  

Cost and reliability are prime considerations when it comes to systems placed on borders and coastlines. Border security systems must be able to operate around the clock in harsh conditions, for years at a time. Fast response is critical. On detection of a potential threat, it must be recognized and analyzed in order to immediately initiate response. There is little room for false alarms and other problems resulting from poor lighting conditions, shadows, scenery movements caused by winds and similar reasons that may rule out the use of regular cameras. As a result, there is increased usage of thermal cameras and systems.

In the past, long-range observation and surveillance was carried out using cooled thermal imaging systems. Security forces frequently run video analytics on the thermal channel, because most threats have a clear thermal signature compared to the background. As a result, the thermal cameras are operated non-stop — not only in darkness or bad weather conditions. For cooled thermal systems, this means a great deal of regular preventive maintenance. Uncooled thermal imaging systems have been available for some time, but until recently their performance did not match that of similar cooled systems. That’s changed with the introduction of long-range uncooled camera systems which offer almost the same performance as their cooled counterparts, at lower prices and with significantly lower cost of ownership.

A leading manufacturer of such thermal systems is Opgal Optronic Industries. Opgal’s uncooled Accuracii XRU multi-sensor camera system offers all of the benefits of a cooled system, without its drawbacks. The company has noted increased interest in these systems and recently reported a number of significant sales of the Accuracii XRU, specifically in the realm of border security.

Offering long range detection and recognition, the Accuracii XRU provides effective protection of borders and critical infrastructure enabling timely threat verification and response.  Accuracii XRU features an advanced high resolution 17μ thermal camera with a 25-225mm continuous zoom lens, enabling detection of a person up to 7km away. It is also equipped with a powerful regular camera for daytime assessment, and an optional Laser Range Finder.

An additional layer of protection is provided by equipping border guards with handheld thermal cameras and binoculars. Here too, Opgal offers a number of solutions varying in weight, size, and range. But when it comes to accessibility and affordability, the company’s Therm-App™ thermal imaging camera for Android is a front runner.  The compact and lightweight Therm-App™ camera offers night vision capabilities for surveillance, perimeter security, search and rescue and other security applications — plus all the convenience and functionality of a smartphone. 

When selecting thermal imaging systems for border and security applications, affordability and reliability are major considerations. It’s here that Opgal’s line of uncooled and handheld thermal imaging systems are enabling security forces to see beyond the visible and carry out effective border surveillance.

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