The Heat Is On: Farsight take on their first thermal cameras

The Farsight Observatory

Thermal CCTV technology is becoming more and more affordable. As a result, it’s now playing a crucial part in day-to-day installations on sites of all shapes and sizes.

At Farsight we had the power of thermal cameras demonstrated to us years ago – with the team also testing their potential for changing how we monitor sites. But the high prices and still advancing technology meant thermal cameras weren’t always a viable option for installation…

…until now.

When we first saw thermal cameras in action we were seriously impressed with the advantages it could bring a monitoring station. After the demonstration, we were eager to see the cameras in action on a live site – and we’re delighted to say that day has now come as we have started to monitor a site using the technology.

With the news that we’re now monitoring sites with thermal cameras, take a look at our:

Thermal Camera Factfile

Who can use thermal technology?

The UK forces are widely known to use thermal imaging for the tracking of objects via their heat signature. Whether it’s to track vehicles during a high-speed chase, like this video shows, or to identify drug cultivation, the technology is often vital to the forces.

When the technology was still very expensive, it was somewhat exclusive to the forces. However, with technology now advancing and more manufacturers looking to maximise on the advantages of thermal technology, installing thermal cameras for remote monitoring is now a realistic option.

Today, manufacturers like Axis offer thermal network cameras at affordable prices, and importantly they have a range of thermal cameras to choose from: allowing installers to pick the right thermal technology. As a result, if it’s right for the site and its remote monitoring needs, thermal technology is a viable option and easily accessible.

Why use thermal technology?

Thermal technology works the same day and night, 24/7 and in all weather conditions. The thermal image sensor determines the temperature of objects and inverts colours depending on the temperature.

Remote monitoring of most thermal cameras allows security operators to swap the inversion of colours: either white for hot on black for cool, black for hot on white for cool or infrared with varying degrees of colour depending on temperature.

Infrared thermal camera views are referred to as ‘Predator View’.

No matter which viewing mode your camera uses there is a high contrast between the background and any heat sources.

With this technology, operators can see through smoke, fog, in pitch black or glaring sunlight.

In fact, the ability of thermal cameras to see in the pitch black virtually eliminates the need for additional lighting – both conventional and infrared.

How does thermal technology improve remote monitoring?

The option for the perpetrator to hide in the shadows unnoticed is removed with thermal technology.

The intruder’s body heat stands out from the background making it easy for operators to rapidly spot the reason for an alarm. The contrast between heat source and the background is what makes thermal cameras ideal for monitoring.

Every second counts when a burglary is taking place.

The faster an operator can make a judgment call the more chance there is of stopping the crime taking place – and the clarity of a heat source with thermal technology means that’s a much quicker process.

Are there any drawbacks?

Although ideal for quickly identifying the presence of a person – an intruder – thermal cameras do not serve well for perpetrator identification, which is particularly important for evidential purposes.

Therefore, it’s recommended that HD surveillance cameras are also installed to obtain footage for use as evidence.

If you want to find out more about remote monitoring services, with (or without!) thermal cameras get in touch with us today.