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News

Long range thermal camera performance

FLIR Systems Ltd : 28 May, 2008  (New Product)
FLIR's HRC cameras feature Digital Detail Enhancement for improved long range performance in thermal imaging
Long range thermal camera performance
The performance of the HRC range of thermal imaging cameras is unequalled in many respects. As FLIR Systems' Business Development Manager, Alex Thornton-Margetts explains, "At a distance of up to 3km the HRC thermal cameras can actually distinguish the pattern of a camouflage uniform, the detail is incredible." These models are also characterised by a powerful continuous optical zoom capability (the InSb base models) and Digital Detail Enhancement (DDE) that ensures good-contrast images even in highly dynamic thermal scenes. Actual detection range of a man target is above 16km.

With the acquisition of CEDIP earlier this year this prestige range of cameras has now been extended to include new models based on the MCT detectors allowing FLIR to penetrate into new regions and to increase a wider range of leading edge Thermal Imaging Camera Systems to the ever demanding, long distance security and surveillance market. Naturally they provide round the clock detection in all weathers. These new HRC cameras are designed to detect man-sized targets at long range so are ideally suited for border and coastal surveillance applications. They are equally appropriate for guarding facilities such as ports, airports, nuclear power stations and other large sites.

As their suffix suggests the new HRC-25 x 320 MCT and HRC-36 x 460 MCT integrate Mercury Cadmium Telluride thermal infrared detectors. These ultra-sensitive systems operate in the 3.7 - 4.8µm waveband producing exceptionally crisp images. The 640 x 512 pixels detector allows the smallest detail to be seen, there are also cost effective options with 320 x 256 pixels detectors.

Both cameras come with triple field of view optics comprising wide, medium and narrow Field of Views; larger lenses on the HRC-30 x 460 MCT allows it to provide longer range performance without compromising the image quality.

The transition from lens to lens is seamless with the wide angle offering excellent situation awareness. When a potential threat is detected and by switching to whichever of the other lenses is most appropriate, the target can then be seen in greater detail. An auto focus mechanism provides crisp thermal images at the touch of a button. The video can then be exported via Ethernet allowing remote control and video display over long distances.

Given their wide scope of applications these cameras are designed for use in tough environments with their vital core sealed against humidity and water. Equipped with standard power and video interfaces they are easily integrated into new and legacy systems. As they are compact and lightweight they can be installed in practically any position whether it be fixed mount or field transportable.
The new models to the HRC range can also be specified as multi-sensor systems; the suffix MS denotes this configuration. These cameras combine the long range, mid-wave thermal imaging capability with a powerful daylight sensor both installed on a rugged pan and tilt mechanism. Options available include a laser range finder, automatic video tracker etc.

In addition to being used as a standalone device the HRC MS can be mounted on a vehicle, tall structure or integrated into a larger surveillance system. System set up is a one-man task making this camera the ideal choice of mobile operation and quick deployment. A further option is a touch screen control panel, a typical application for which is to provide local control for a camera mounted on top of a tower or on a vehicle.
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