The Need-To-Know on Thermal Cameras in 2022
The thermal camera market saw a 76% growth worldwide due to the pandemic, swelling to a $7.6 billion market in 2020. A key catalyst for this growth was, of course, the use of thermal technology as a screening tool to detect elevated skin temperatures. However, this has created a widespread interest in thermal technology as a whole, which has led to heightened demand for other applications, including security and outdoor intrusion detection.
Thermal cameras capture infrared energy, i.e., heat. All living things from plants to people give off some measure of thermal energy. Because of this, thermal cameras offer customers robust detection capabilities, even in the most extreme environmental conditions, such as ice, snow, rain, and fog. However, recent advances are also enabling the layering of devices, establishing thermal technology as a trusted tool for perimeter surveillance.
As Integrators, Jaydien has recently made use of perimeter intrusion detection to further improve threat assessment. Layering thermal sensors, with motion detection and perimeter enables security personnel to maximize the benefits of both technologies.
Increased Performance & Sensitivity
Thermal cameras have experienced significant increases in performance, including improvements to thermal sensitivity, which have lead to higher detection accuracy and a lower total cost of ownership.
A way to qualify infrared cameras specifically is by their noise equivalent temperature difference (NETD). This metric is a measure of how well a thermal imaging detector can distinguish between very small differences in thermal radiation. In other words, NETD it is a signal-to-noise figure which approximates the minimum temperature difference the camera can detect. This measurement is also sometimes referred to as “Thermal Contrast”. A more sensitive device will produce higher contrast images.
When the noise of an image is equivalent to the smallest measurable temperature difference, the detector has reached the limit of its ability. The more noise there is, the higher the NETD value of the detector.
In addition to improvements in thermal sensitivity, new cameras are simplifying installations and slashing expenses. A prime example are fixed, multispectral cameras that combine both thermal and 4K visible sensors in one housing.
These options are becoming popular, as they amalgamate multiple technologies into one device, thereby minimizing costs and installation times. These devices also close the gap between detection and threat assessment functionalities, performing both tasks at the same time.