When choosing a thermal camera system to protect site perimeters, it’s important to select a solution specifically designed for outdoor use. This will help reduce costs, manage your nuisance alarm rate and maximize detection accuracy.
Thermal videos cameras operate by sensing movement, but outdoors, everything moves, even the camera itself. A camera mounted on a bridge, near trains or construction sites will move from vibrations, while any camera mounted on a pole will move from wind. In all cases, outdoor thermal cameras need stabilization to maintain a high probability of detection without nuisance alerts from these vibrations.
Outdoor thermal cameras also need to ignore stray movement caused by trees and foliage, blowing debris or small animals while detecting intrusions anywhere in the field of view. For this reason, choose thermal cameras with built-in GPS analytics which can determine the location, bearing and actual size of the all objects in the field of view. This is the basis for size filters that accurately detect what’s relevant and ignore movement that would otherwise send a false alert.
The use of GPS technology also provides accurate target locations to show precisely where an event occurs, which is critical when protecting large outdoor areas. The same GPS information can be used to automatically steer PTZ cameras for up-close identification as an event unfolds.
You should also choose thermal imagine cameras that employ a high degree of image processing to produce very reliable video images, even among difficult environmental factors such as rain, humidity, fog and bright sun, which in the past yielded poor thermal images, nuisance alerts and mis-detects. This makes important scene details easier for video analytics to detect with greater accuracy.
It’s also important to select a thermal system built to withstand the elements. Outdoor thermal cameras can be designed to handle temperature changes and keep out humidity, snow, and other outdoor elements.
A system like this can deliver cost savings. Long-range thermal video cameras can operate at twice the distance and cover four times the area, creating a larger buffer zone for early detection of intruders, along with a direct economic benefit: Fewer thermal cameras are needed to protect the same location, reducing the number of poles, trenching and communications needed for a deployment. As a result, thermal cameras are now on par in “cost per foot” with traditional approaches to perimeter security, such as fence sensors, buried cable, or visible cameras.