FLIR Systems Thermal Imaging Cameras For Coastal Surveillance Applications
Border control means more than protecting land borders only. Numerous countries have a large coastline that needs to be protected as well. With over 3,200 kilometres of coastline, Sweden is just one example.
Thermal imaging cameras are a great tool for protecting a country’s land or coastal borders. Although FLIR Systems markets a full range of thermal imaging cameras with cooled detector for these applications, some Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) like to incorporate a thermal imaging module in their own product themselves. For these OEMs, FLIR Systems markets a full range of thermal imaging cores that can easily be integrated in any application.
Electro-Optical Surveillance Systems (EOSS)
“Based in Sweden, Informationssytem AB is one of Europe’s leading companies for the design and construction of advanced visual surveillance systems for military purposes.“, explains Mr. Fleming Eklund, Manager at Informationssytem AB.
“For monitoring a part of the Swedish coastline, we have developed and deployed various ElectroOptical Surveillance Systems (EOSS) for the Swedish Navy and Coastguard. The EOSS have a rugged housing designed for round the clock operation in extreme environments. They withstand the near arctic temperatures of the northern Swedish winters. The housing is mounted on a remote controlled platform.”
“The EOSS are equipped with two daylight cameras. One camera gives full visual coverage of the entire
surveillance area. The other is equipped with a longrange zoom lens enabling the reading of the name
of a ship over many kilometres.”
“For night and low light vision purposes, the EOSS is also equipped with a thermal imaging module. We have chosen to integrate the FLIR Systems ThermoVision 3000 core in the EOSS”
ThermoVision 3000 long range thermal imaging core
The ThermoVision 3000 core has been especially designed for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM). It can be easily integrated into systems that require an advanced, cooled thermal imaging solution. The module is equipped with a longwave, cooled Quantum Well Infrared Photodetector (QWIP) operating in the 8 – 9 μm waveband.
The ThermoVision 3000 is equipped with triple field of view optics. With the ThermoVision 3000 module, a man-sized target can be detected at over 12 kilometers away, An object the size of a 2.3 x 2.3 meter vessel can be detected at practically 19 kilometres away.
Thermal imaging a great tool inside the EOSS
“All these features make the ThermoVision 3000 an excellent module to build into an EOSS that needs to be operational in total darkness as well.”, continues Mr. Eklund. “In Sweden we have quite some dark hours, especially in winter time. Thermal imaging cameras work by making extremely small temperature differences visible. The ThermoVision 3000 core detects differences of no less than 0.03°C. Since there is a small difference in temperature between the main hull of the ship and the lettering on the hull, it is even possible to read the name of the ship in total darkness.”
“But the thermal imaging core is not only used in darkness. A thermal imaging camera is also not blinded by glare from the sun. Even when its range performance is affected by fog and light rain, it will normally see more than a CCTV camera in these conditions. Therefore the ThermoVision module is used in daylight as well.”
“Integrating the ThermoVision 3000 in the EOSS was a relatively easy job.”, continues Mr. Eklund. "The ThermoVision 3000 provides a turnkey thermal imager with advanced image processing features built-in and ready for system integration. It incorporates easily with common power and video interfaces found in existing and new systems. The images from the 640 x 480 pixel detectors can be displayed on virtually any existing display that accepts composite video."
EOSS monitors the Swedish coastline
“In order to see as far as possible, the EOSS are positioned on towers more than 20 meters above sea level. They are designed to work in conjunction with a radar in a so-called “slewto-cue” configuration. If the radar is detecting a target, the camera will automatically turn in the right direction so that the operator can see what the blip on the radar screen really means and can begin the identification process. In darkness, the ThermoVision 3000 will do this job seamlessly.”
“The communication between the cameras and the monitoring station is based on a digital network system. Connection links can be in fiber, coax, or wireless microwave link and require a band width of 8 MBit for real time pictures using MPEG-2 video streaming. All the functions of the EOSS, including the one from the ThermoVision 3000 core, can be controlled from the central monitoring station by a PC with graphic user interface or by a joystick. Any of the central monitoring stations fitted with the interface equipment connected to the digital network can view and control the cameras.”
“Today, the EOSS are in operation for more than 6 years already.”, explains Mr. Eklund. “No technical
problems have occurred in this period of time and the Swedish Navy and Coastguard, the endusers of the systems, are still extremely happy. The thermal imaging module inside the EOSS is greatly contributing to this. It assures that no vessel passes the Swedish coastline undetected. Night and day."
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