How does night vision work?

The first thing you probably think of when you see the words night vision is a spy or action movie you’ve seen, in which someone straps on a pair of night-vision goggles to find someone else in a dark building on a moonless night. And you may have wondered “Do those things really work? Can you actually see in the dark?”

The answer is most definitely yes. With the proper night-vision equipment, you can see a person standing over 200 yards (183 m) away on a moonless, cloudy night! Night vision can work in two very different ways, depending on the technology used.

Image enhancement – This works by collecting the tiny amounts of light, including the lower portion of the infrared light spectrum, that are present but may be imperceptible to our eyes, and amplifying it to the point that we can easily observe the image.

Thermal imaging – This technology operates by capturing the upper portion of the infrared light spectrum, which is emitted as heat by objects instead of simply reflected as light. Hotter objects, such as warm bodies, emit more of this light than cooler objects like trees or buildings.

In order to understand night vision, it is important to understand something about light. The amount of energy in a light wave is related to its wavelength: Shorter wavelengths have higher energy. Of visible light, violet has the most energy, and red has the least. Just next to the visible light spectrum is the infrared spectrum.

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Thermal Imaging Cameras and Advanced Vision and Surveillance Solutions

The health of a building can be easily assessed using non-destructive, thermal imaging technology. Affordable, pocket-sized, and easy-to-use, thermal imaging cameras enable Building Professionals to instantly see problems that are invisible to the naked eye. Whether it’s an electrical short, energy loss, or failing motor, our thermal imaging cameras will help you find the problem.

The systems represent the single largest potential savings on utility costs. The health of your heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems are often difficult to track and monitor with traditional tools. A previously cost-prohibitive technology, thermal imaging cameras, is a tool becoming widely adopted by technicians to inspect valves, ducting, compressor coils, and the electrical components that power a building’s system.

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Infrared lenses for uncooled cameras 3-5 microns

With the largest offering of lenses for uncooled infrared camera, we offer customers the best solutions for defense, commercial, and homeland security applications. Through experience working with the majority of FPA manufacturers and infrared systems integrators worldwide, we offer off-the-shelf and custom designed and manufactured lenses to suit customer needs.

Infrared lenses are available in focal lengths ranging from 4.0mm to 342mm including zoom lenses, multiple field of view, fixed focal length lenses, manual focus lenses, and motorized focus lenses. A wide range of f/#’s is offered to optimize lens size, weight and performance. Comprehensive in-house design and manufacturing capabilities enable to customize existing off-the-shelf lenses or design a custom lens to meet customers’ exact needs.

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Applications of Thermal Security Cameras

Securing a site or city requires the ability to distinguish between friend and foe, and in today’s world, that means 24/7 video surveillance. With our high powered thermal security cameras providing unprecedented situational awareness, security forces can now observe, investigate, and if needed, respond to any situation during the day or at night, even in harsh visibility conditions like rain and fog.

Monitor your property in a whole new light

Thermal security cameras offer a whole new dimension of security monitoring. Thermal security cameras see heat, as opposed to visible light. Most things (especially people) tend to give off enough heat to be detected by thermal security cameras, day or night, and in different types of weather, such as fog. Thermal security cameras make hiding in and around trees or bushes nearly impossible. They will also reduce the number of motion detection false alarms since they only see moving sources of heat, and not objects such as trees blowing in the wind.

Thermal security cameras can be used with both Digital IP and Analog MPX security systems. They come with both PoE (Power-over-Ethernet) and BNC ports, making them the perfect add-on security camera for your security system.

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The Advantages of using Security Cameras

A security camera also known as Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) is one of the wonders of modern technology. It is a security system that uses a camera, a display monitor and a recording device that are directly connected to tape the happenings within a given area. Technology is like a double edged sword and it brings with it innovations that require an upgrade every now and then. There are so many benefits associated with having a CCTV device and majority of the people who have used them have in one way or the other reaped the benefits. The most common benefits however include:

Reduce the rate of crime

The biggest and probably the most obvious benefit of having a security camera installed in your premise is that it reduces crime. The sense of security that the cameras bring is priceless. The sight of a camera and the thought of being caught deter crime as they intimidate mischievous people from conducting their illegal acts. Security cameras prevent your home or office from being an easy target.

Monitor activities around a given area

Security cameras make work easier as they can be placed anywhere as long as there is a power source close by. CCTV cameras come in all shapes and sizes and can be discreetly placed in desired places. When purchasing one, it all depends on your needs, whether you want a hidden camera or the mountable visible ones. Security cameras also help you monitor the activities around your home or office.

Security Cameras help in gathering evidence

There have been instances where the law caught up with criminals with the help of CCTV footages. This only shows that security cameras installed in strategic places come in handy when there is need to monitor the happenings around your home, office or business. The modern cameras have high quality audio and video capabilities making them more efficient in recording the activities within the given area. It therefore becomes easier to see the series of events as they unfold.

Help in decision making

With footages from CCTV cameras, it becomes easier to make fair decisions when settling disputes or taking legal actions. All doubts can be laid to rest when a CCTV footage is followed keenly. It doesn’t matter whether it is a family feud, disagreements among employees or between a client and a staff. CCTV footages with clear audio and video signals also help in clearing fabricated stories.

Help in maintaining records for future reference

If curiosity is getting the best of you or you are just in need of knowing something that happened say a fortnight ago, you simply go through the CCTV footages. Security cameras have a systematical way of recording and documenting everything therefore, it becomes easier to retrieve any kind of information from any date and time. The cameras chronicle every little thing that happens.

Critics say security cameras stir up controversies especially in professional setups where security cameras are installed in offices. Although the critics argue that such cameras subject employees under constant surveillance, the benefits of CCTV cameras still outweigh its disadvantages.

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Using gas cameras to visualize gas leaks

Gas cameras can efficiently detect (visualize) gas leaks that are hazardous for the environment and the health of people. The principles of detecting gas using gas cameras is based on the fact that some gases in selected spectral zones behave as selective radiators with low throughput and reflectivity (and high emissivity) and under certain circumstances they can be easily observed by a gas camera with sufficient temperature sensitivity and the correct spectral range. Special LWIR and MWIR gas cameras were developed to detect (leaks) of gases, including, for example, the quite problematic gas SF6, which is 24 000 x more hazardous for the environment than the greenhouse gas CO2. According to the spectral range of the gas camera and the filter, gases that are selective radiators in the particular spectral range are detected.

gas cameras to detect gases differ from thermal measuring cameras. In addition to a lens, detector, cooling part (if the gas camera detector is cooled) and electronics for processing the image, on the front part of the detector is a cooled optical band gate filter . This filter restricts the heating radiation wave lengths that the filter allows to act on the detector to narrow the band. This technology is known as spectral adaptation and the camera, in practice, is usually constructed (i.e. equipped with the particular filter) for the selected gas or group of gases (i.e., for example CO2, CO, SF6 etc.) and detecting other gases is considered as a certain type of “bonus”. Of course, in practice we also come across other types of spectral sensitivity depending on the expected purpose of the camera.

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Thermal imaging core offers enhanced capabilities

This is a extreme low power consumption and small-size (PCB:20mm X 20mm ) uncooled thermal imaging core.

Compact design makes it well-suited for OEM assembly and integration. It adopts MT creative WD enhancement algorithm, contributing to continuous clear, zero noise image and wide dynamic range display.

Ideal for portable, small, low power thermal imaging applications, widely used in aimer, security monitoring, marine observation, UAV, telescopes and etc.

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Thermal Imaging Cameras in the Food Industry

In the food industry, it’s essential to carefully control the temperature of perishable goods throughout production, transportation, storage, and sales. Repeated warnings about illnesses due to tainted and improperly cooked foods highlight the need for tighter process control. Because this almost always involves a human factor, food processors need tools that automate crucial operations in a way that helps minimize human error while holding down costs.

Thermal imaging cameras are such a tool. Using FLIR thermal imaging cameras, you can make automated non-contact temperature measurements in many food processing applications. Analog video outputs can be viewed on video monitors, and digital temperature data, including MPEG4 video outputs, can be routed to a computer via Ethernet.

How It Works

The main elements doing non-contact temperature measurements in the food processing industry are a thermal imaging camera and associated software. They act as “smart” non-contact sensors to perform 100% inspections, measuring the temperature of equipment, refrigerated products, and cooked foods as they exit the cooking process.

Thermal imaging cameras are easy to use, small, and can be positioned almost anywhere as needed. They can also be used to inspect package sealing, and improve efficiency in other food processing operations.

FLIR thermal imaging cameras have firmware and communication interfaces that enable their use in automated process control. Third-party software makes it easy to incorporate these tools into automated machine vision systems without the need for extensive custom-written control code.

Advantages of Using lenses in Infrared Applications

Compared to many other forms of optical infrared lenses, meniscus lenses are rarely offered off-the-shelf. While meniscus infrared lenses are primarily used for focusing to small spot sizes or collimation applications, plano convex infrared lenses often offer a superior price-to performance ratio. There are scenarios, though, where meniscus infrared lenses provide significantly superior performance at only a moderate increase in price.

Spherical Aberration

Due to the spherical nature of a lens, spherical aberrations cause parallel rays at different distances from the optic axis to not converge at the same point. While spherical aberrations can be corrected by using multiple elements that overcorrect other elements, for many infrared lenses systems where materials are significantly more costly than visible materials, it is ideal to minimize the number of elements. In lieu of using multiple elements, it is possible to minimize spherical aberration for a single lens by shaping the lens into its best form.

For a fixed index of refraction and lens thickness, an infinite number of radii combinations exist that can be used to create a particular focal length lens. These combinations of radii create different lens shapes which directly result in spherical aberrations and coma due to the degree in which a ray bends as it travels through the lens.

Benefits of Meniscus Design

When working in the visible, glass indices typically range from 1.5 to 1.7 and the shape for minimum spherical aberration is nearly plano-convex. In the infrared lenses, however, higher index materials like germanium are typically used. Germanium, with its index of 4.0, greatly benefits from a meniscus lens design by significantly reducing spherical aberrations.

The minimum spherical aberration occurs when the ray is bent equally at both interfaces. While the first surface of a germanium meniscus lens causes light to bend slightly more than a comparable PCX lens, the second surface of a PCX lens causes light to bend significantly more, resulting in an overall increase in spherical aberration.

Which compares the performance of a 25 x 25mm germanium PCX lens to a 25 x 25mm germanium meniscus lens, it is easy to see how the PCX lens causes light to bend significantly more with respect to the lens surface than the comparable meniscus lens. This increase in bend causes an increase in spherical aberration. The germanium meniscus lens demonstrates a drastic decrease in resulting spot size, making it more ideal for use in demanding infrared lenses applications.

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Infrared camera and thermal imaging module

The long-wave thermal imaging modules for a wide variety of applications and are available with a choice of array sizes, pixel pitch and lens options. They can be delivered as self-contained camera units or as thermal imaging modules for integration into end-user products.

Our thermal imaging modules include the MIRICLE range, ultra low-power MicroCAM 2 and MicroCAM 3 cores with patented shutterless XTi Technology, MicroCAM irGO thermal imaging cameras, FevIR Scan fever screening system and MicroCAM HD high definition thermal imaging cameras.

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