Security Technology Executive

NOV-DEC 2017

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Page 38 of 71

www. • November/December 2017 • SECURIT Y TECHNOLOGY E XECUTIVE 39 distinguishing feature of thermal cameras is that they can see in com- plete darkness, smoke, light fog and rain, and foliage. Thermal cameras also produce clearer video images when compared to low-light cameras. Thermal imagers detect even the smallest differences in heat signatures, which are reflected in the high-contrast images they produce. These sharper images lead to higher performing video analytics, quicker intrusion detection and lower false alarm rates. For low-light cameras, the amount of reflected light energy available signif icantly affects the video image. While too much light in the camera sensor can result in bright spots, too little light will result in images with poor contrast; if there's no light, there will be no picture at all. All of these scenarios leave security staff with unusable images, which is why many have turned t o t hermal cameras. In addition to producing high-con- trast video images, thermal cameras have wider field of views and optimal zoom capabilities, which are ideal for intrusion detection. Thermal cameras can detect individuals at far greater distances than visible cameras, provid- ing an early warning to security teams so that they can respond before suspi- cious individuals reach the fence line. In comparison, the monitoring range of low-light cameras is limited by the proximity of the light source, and there- fore, is relatively short. Besides long-range monitoring capa- bilities, thermal cameras are also known for their robust, durable design. They have proven to be one of the hardest solutions for adversaries to breach dur- ing force-on-force tests. Widespread Adoption Thermal cameras are the best video solution to satisfy the NRC's 24/7 video surveillance requisite, which is why the number of thermal camera deployments for nuclear facilities has substantially increased over the last decade. In addi- tion to the rapid deployment of thermal cameras for nuclear security, there has also been an increase in advanced inte- grations of thermal and other security systems. Today, nuclear facilities are pairing thermal cameras with radar. With a thermal-radar integrated solu- tion, security staff can more effectively detect targets in wide area perimeters. When the thermal camera slews to the cue of the radar, security teams can not only pinpoint the exact GPS loca- tion of the approaching target in a map display, but they also get a visual of the approaching target. The integration of thermal and radar technologies pro- vides unparalleled situational awareness beyond the perimeter. About the Author: John Distelzweig ser ves as the V ice President and General Manager of FLIR 's Securit y segment. Thermal cameras are essential for 24/7 threat recognition for nuclear plants and play a key role in the overall physical security plan. BigStock More nuclear plants are also install- ing dual sensor cameras that have both a thermal and visible light camera lens. With a dual sensor camera, staff cannot only monitor, but also identify individ- uals and objects in the purview of the camera. In other words, a central station monitor on duty at night will be able to see that the individual approaching the perimeter is a crew member who forgot his badge rather than an intruder. Some nuclear facilities are even look- ing into the deployment of drones with thermal imagers on them to extend sur- veillance beyond the point of fixed cam- eras and enhance real-time response. If a security officer in the control room receives a detection alert from a radar system at night, he can activate a drone to fly to the area to get a better under- standing of the situation before dispatch- ing personnel to the area. All in all, thermal cameras are essen- tial for 24/7 threat recognition for nucle- ar plants and play a key role in the over- all physical security plan.

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