Driver Vision Thermal Imagers are vehicle and dashboard mounted Imagers that assist First Responders and Law Enforcement Personnel in locating road hazards and suspects in total darkness. These Imagers provide images that would not ordinarily be seen in the dark and allows for quicker reaction time and greater opportunity to apprehend an otherwise “hidden in the dark” suspect. This technology is identical to the technology used by Military to view heated objects at night.
Thermal Imagers for Law Enforcement and Fire Fighting are used to locate criminals, casualties and hazards in total darkness, smoke, fog, and fire. Thermal Imagers are used to measure surface temperature and temperature differential of surrounding areas for Commercial, Industrial, General, and First Responder Use. They are now considered to be an essential tool utilized in many first responder applications including, but not limited to, Law Enforcement, Fire Fighting, Marine Safety, and Home Land Security. They are now used and accepted worldwide for Safety and Enforcement Searches. They are considered to be extremely powerful weapons that can be used by officers and emergency personnel in the fight against crime. The use of thermal cameras offers officers and fire fighters a tactical and search advantage. A vehicle mounted thermal imager allows the observation and location of suspects, without revealing the officers’ location in total darkness or through smoke, moderate fog, and behind foliage. Thermal Imagers also increases the likelihood of identification and capture of a suspect, improving ability to track and collect important evidence, increasing the probability of locating injured or hidden casualties in a fire as well as locating the source of high temperature and possible danger. First Responders and Law Enforcement Personnel depend on having the shortest reaction time in order to gain information and to be able to assist, save or apprehend. Utilizing a vehicle mounted Imager offers the officer of responder a better chance of noticing suspects, criminals, animals, pedestrians, fire, and obstacles along the roadside well in advance of being in close proximity. Utilizing a high count pixel array with a 36 degree “field of view” lens allows information to gathered quickly which benefits Law Enforcement as well as all First Responders.
Below are two examples of vision using the headlights of a vehicle and the vision as seen using a mounted Thermal Imager.
View with Headlights only
View with Thermal Imaging
The advantage is obvious
The following photos demonstrate the capability of Thermal Imager night time vision and the advantage that exists when using a vehicle with a mounted Imager.
Features of Mounted Thermal Imagers
See objects, suspects, obstacles, animals, and any heat source in total darkness
Enhances Drivers Vision in darkness
Can be utilized as Surveillance without moving
See through smoke
Enables vision at night during Pursuit
Supplied with Wide Angle Lens
Standard High Pixel Count Array
Temperature can be seen in the dark, so can suspects or hazards can be seen in dark.
See four times beyond the range of headlights; get more time to react to road hazards.
Monitor the activity of suspects without their knowledge, in total darkness, from a distance.
These Thermal imagers see through smoke, allowing officers to respond safely in brush fire or tunnel fire situations.
See hazards from a longer distance enabling lives to be saved and property to be protected.
Refresh (Frame) Rate
Refresh rate or frame rate is the accepted frames per second update for the image being transmitted to the display. Rates used in Law Enforcement and Vehicle Mounted Imagers are commonly listed as 7.5Hz, 8Hz, 25Hz, or 30Hz. Higher frame rates are usually found on cameras with better resolution as well as cameras used for "First Responder” applications involving motion. If the application anticipates using video output, a higher refresh rate is preferred. The choice is based on application and camera specifications. Refresh rates above 9 Hz are export restricted.
IR Resolution (Pixel Array) / Detector Size
Although for Driver Vision Thermal Imaging Cameras the Detector Resolution selection is limited to one choice, it is important to understand more about Detector Resolution. Detector resolution is based on the pixel array that each camera contains. Using larger pixel arrays, (as well as the lens “Field of View” selected and any special electronics being added to the optical circuit), cameras can measure smaller targets at a longer distance that would be sharper and in greater detail. All cameras display temperature gradient. As the pixel array increase in size, the average temperature spot measured becomes smaller. This will increase the information gathered by the camera.
When discussing pixel size, the specific application must be taken into consideration. Please be aware that the detector resolution is different than the display resolution. It is the detector resolution that matters the most. Higher resolution thermal imaging not only provides more accurate quantitative results, but it is also very important when presenting those results to customers. Please see FOV, “Field of View” paragraph below. Given a fixed pixel array, the FOV will determine the detail of temperature being displayed.
FOV - Field of View
Like the Detector Size above, the FOV or "Field of View" selection is limited to one choice. But it was optimally chosen for viewing road hazards at a distance. The FOV is the area of the image that is measured and viewed on the imager screen. The lens has the greatest influence on the total view, but a larger pixel array (matrix) may provide greater detail of desired temperature gradient. Compare the following illustrations.
If the application of using a thermal imager is based on a fixed and mounted Imager in the vehicle, please check the choices offered to you or call one of our experienced Certified Thermographers for discussion and application information.
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