Comparing imaging technologies. The best of multisensor platforms.

Today there are a large number of visualization technologies, each of which has both advantages and disadvantages. However, some tasks may require the use of different rendering technologies. In this case, multisensor systems come to the rescue, combining the advantages of several technologies, for example, a visible light camera and a thermal imaging camera.


To see what cannot be seen by human eyes


The light we see is only a small part of the so-called electromagnetic spectrum. This spectrum consists of various frequencies of electromagnetic radiation, energy waves propagating through space. The electromagnetic spectrum includes radio waves, WiFi, microwave radiation, radiated heat, visible light, ultraviolet radiation, and even harmful X-rays and gamma rays.



Many types of electromagnetic radiation can be directed and detected using special transducers. An obvious example is the visible light sensors used in most digital cameras, but other technologies exist that can, for example, detect infrared radiation, which allows you to see what is not available to the human eye, and therefore can be useful for video surveillance systems. There are a huge number of sensors, the principle of operation of which can both be similar to the cameras we are used to, and radically differ from it. Each technology has its own advantages and scope.


Combining the best


Using these technologies in one device allows you to take the best of each. So, in multisensor platforms in one housing, in fact, two different sensors are used - a light-sensitive matrix and a bolometric matrix for observation in the thermal range. Both matrices can be centrally controlled, making target tracking much easier.


Thermal imaging systems use cameras that "see" heat instead of light. These cameras create an image of an object using their temperature, rather than visible features.



How do thermal imagers work? All objects with temperature that exceeds the temperature of absolute zero emit electromagnetic heat radiation proportional to the body temperature. Thermal imaging systems focus and detect this radiation, and then convert the temperature changes into a gray-scale image, in which lighter and darker areas of gray represent respectively higher and lower temperatures. Many thermal imagers also use a color scale to display temperature differences..


No need for illumination


Most cameras require a light source to capture the image. But since thermal energy is emitted by all bodies, thermal imaging systems are able to “see” the environment regardless of lighting conditions. This technology can be used in complete darkness without additional lighting..



Threat detection on long distances


People, animals and vehicles generally have a higher temperature than their environment. This contrast allows thermal imaging systems to be used to quickly detect threats at vast distances (up to 50 km).


Reliable surveillance at day and night


The image quality of a visible light camera is dependent on lighting conditions, which makes these cameras almost useless in conditions of low contrast or too wide dynamic range. Thermal imagers, in turn, are completely independent of changes in lighting, providing reliable observation in any light 24/7.


See through smoke and fog


Thermal radiation passes through visible radiation limiters such as smoke, dust, fog and thin foliage.

In addition, the accurate measurement of the temperature difference makes it possible in some cases to detect hidden objects, for example, under clothing. This is possible due to the fact that the hidden object affects the surface temperature of the material.



Temperature screening


The high accuracy of temperature measurement of thermal imaging systems can be used to monitor critical equipment, for example, in data centers or factories, to ensure their safe operation and trigger alarm systems when the set temperature level is exceeded.