Last modified on July 17th, 2024 at 4:44 pm

When shopping for a thermal imager Sierra-Olympia offers a wide variety of systems

Even though the cost of owning a thermal camera has significantly reduced in the past two decades, it is still an investment for the right system. A good way to start is by developing a list of requirements for your project. This will help visualize any unforeseen obstacles and make you more prepared for the process. Take a look at the questions we often ask ourselves when picking a thermal system.

The Right Questions to Ask

  • Is my camera going to be stationary or does it need to be mobile?
  • What is the furthest distance I need to look?
  • What are some specifics of what I am trying to detect like size, a living being, something mechanical?
  • Do I need to pan, tilt, and zoom?
  • Do I need HD quality or is low resolution adequate?
  • Should I pair my camera with a visible camera?
  • How will I control my cameras video?

Every customer has a different application that ranges in complication

Many of our cameras can attach to tripods and all of them can be integrated in large systems. We specialize in integrating our cameras into production lines and one time systems such as gimbals or drones. We can help with the intense planning that can be associated with that.

The surveillance industry uses the term detection, recognition, identification(DRI).It is based off The Johnson Criteria, which is the accepted method of predicting target detection. It has since been updated by the U.S. Army and called NVThermIP. NATO also developed a criteria that they use. Essentially, these criteria define when something can be predictably detected through a mathematical equation. An accepted rule of thumb is, that if your system can put three pixels on the target, then detection is probable. It is possible to calculate all the conditions mathematically for every possibility.

Watch our two part video series where we take our cameras out of the lab into the real world.

The easiest way to insure you are going to get a product that will meet your requirements is to work with an infrared imaging professional. A team like ours can apply your data to a calculation and match it with our company experience. It expedites selecting the right sensor, lens and building the best system for your application. A specific detector and optic combination will produce the best possible results. Below we have a sample set of data that would be used to calculate for your best optic.

Sample Answers

  • The camera will be mounted on a pole and connected to a network.
  • I need to see up to 2 kilometers.
  • I am looking for big foot who measures 0.75 meters x 2 meters, approximately 1.5 meters total.
  • Pan, tilt and zoom is preferable for my camera system.
  • 640 x 480 resolution would help me identify my target.
  • A thermal camera would help locate big foot, and a visible camera for daytime would help confirm that I saw them.
  • I’ll need a mobile way to view what my camera is seeing.

Using simple calculations, someone from our sales team can present a few different options. One may be may be an uncooled Tenum 640 that is built for Low-SWaP applications such a drones and aircraft. Another may be the Ventus Hot, which offers a powerful suite of continuous zoom lenses.

The detector resolution and optic are major drivers of the cost of a system. The more resolution, the higher the price; Larger optics with longer focal lengths are usually more expensive than smaller ones. Ideally, you want the least expensive system that meets your requirements. That is why it is important to define your requirements and talk to your infrared imaging professional. They may have ideas how you can accomplish your goal and save money.

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