Environmental conditions are not always ideal for traditional security cameras, especially in case of scenarios where perimeter protection and fire detection are needed. What do you do when your images are affected by factors like darkness, foliage, snow or fog, which can obscure objects or people that should trigger a legitimate alarm. One very effective solution is the use of thermal signals.
The spectrum of visible light is only a small part of a large band of detectable signals, or waves, that travel through matter. The electromagnetic spectrum contains radiation from various invisible wave types, each with a unique wavelength. Thermal radiation is one of these, featuring longer wavelengths than those of visible light, and is therefore generally invisible to the human eye.
Any object with a temperature above absolute zero emits a detectable amount of heat radiation; the higher an object or person’s temperature, the more radiation is emitted. Thermal cameras such as Hikvision’s HeatPro Series take advantage of those temperature differences between objects, making invisible thermal radiation ‘visible’ in the form of heat zone images.
All HeatPro models support temperature measurements in the range of -20 °C to 150°C, with an accuracy of ± 8°C. They offer multiple temperature measurement rules (10 points, 10 regions, 1 line or full screen), allowing for greater flexibility and thus adaptability for a wide variety of different use scenarios. And because they operate by sensing an object’s heat radiation, they’re able to capture images 24/7, regardless of surrounding environmental circumstances.
Hikvision’s HeatPro thermal cameras, finalists in the Benchmark Innovation Awards 2022 in the Surveillance Innovation (CCTV) category, are now in their third generation. The new versions include added-value features and a low cost of installation.
That reduced expenditure is important, massively increasing the applications for thermal technology. In the past, thermal cameras were an expensive investment, but now, because of HeatPro’s cost-effectiveness, thermal technology can help save on the cost of other equipment, such as PIR detectors, lights, and audible alert devices. Those devices would previously have been required as extra protection in the event that conventional cameras were ineffective.
HeatPro cameras provide extremely accurate perimeter protection for both residential and commercial properties. They also offer the added benefit of fire prevention with superlative sensitivity.
Integrating HeatPro cameras into a wider security network is straightforward. They’re compatible with Hikvision’s online management software iVMS-4200/HikCentral Professional. The mobile app Hik-Connect can be accessed remotely to get real-time fire prevention alarms. In addition, HeatPro cameras can be integrated with a speaker for sound alerts.
The HeatPro series come with dual lenses: one optical and one thermal lens. The combination of the two provides a fusion image.
The optical lenses are made from polished germanium and can capture 8-14um infrared waves. They’re rugged and resistant to corrosion, making them ideal for harsh environments and applications where there is constant exposure to the elements.
There are two resolution options to cater for longer or shorter camera distances. The 160 series has a 160×120 resolution that will cover up to 48 metres. The 256 Series offers a 256×192 resolution and can cover a distance of up to 77 metres.
The image reproduction of thermal cameras is not affected by lighting conditions. They operate just as well in extremely low light or even in no light at all. Temperature anomalies can be quickly detected and verified with a visualised image. When the surface temperature of an object is abnormal, the camera immediately triggers an alarm for timely troubleshooting.
Video Content Analysis
Thermal cameras detect heat radiation from any object, capturing images constantly, regardless of the temperature. This is an advantage for video content analysis (VCA) because it renders objects with clear outlines that stand out well against the background, even from a distance. Users can easily set up VCA rules to detect actions such as line crossing, intrusion, region entrance, and region exit, all with very high accuracy.
Visualised temperature measurement helps double-check for problems and improves the efficiency of early detection and warning. The ability to detect temperature changes and trigger pre-alarms before a fire occurs can help to prevent significant damage.
Protecting car parks is a practical example of how HeatPro cameras can be used. Because they utilise deep-learning video analytics, they can distinguish multiple targets accurately in all weather and light conditions, reducing false alarms. Those video analytics allow them to detect and classify vehicles and people separately.
Using HeatPro cameras for fire prevention can save huge amounts of money and lives in residential as well as commercial applications. Thermal cameras can identify changes in temperature outdoors, where a smoke alarm would be impractical. Smoke detectors only set off an alarm when they detect smoke, as you’d imagine; but by then it might be too late. A thermal camera can be a helpful supplement to traditional fire alarm equipment.
Heating equipment, as well as combustible materials, are the main causes of warehouse fires. When the surface temperature of that equipment or material is higher than normal, a thermal camera can immediately trigger an alarm for timely troubleshooting and intervention if required.
For installers, Hikvision offers a thermal design tool, which can be used to assist in the design of their system or to show a client their proposed solution. It’s an extremely handy visualisation aid.