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Sep 09 . 3min read
The surveillance and structural health monitoring markets must respond to specific strategic and security concerns. From health monitoring and border control to industrial surveillance and infrastructure monitoring, the stakes are high.
Infrared is an integral part of all kinds of surveillance and SHM solutions. It is a non-intrusive technology with the capacity to make your surveillance and monitoring solutions more powerful and reliable. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that infrared detectors are becoming increasingly common in surveillance and monitoring equipment in general.
Read on to discover the three main reasons why you should integrate thermal imaging into your surveillance and SHM products.
Structural health monitoring to stop water ingress before it is too late
Structures like bridges need to be monitored to ensure that water ingress is not causing damage. Water can infiltrate materials like asphalt and make its way into the structure, ultimately weakening it. Therefore, regular monitoring is essential, and infrared thermography is a particularly effective solution. Here’s how it works: An infrared detector picks up the heat emitted by the surface being monitored and uses the temperature gradients measured to generate an image. The image can then be used to pinpoint any abnormal temperatures in the materials that make up the structure.
This method can be used to check the watertightness of a sealant applied on top of concrete, for example. Any anomalies will show up in an infrared image of the surface. It can also be used to detect damage to an existing sealant under up to 10 cm of asphalt in certain conditions.
Infrared thermography is particularly well-suited to this type of structural health monitoring because it is a non-destructive testing (NDT) method. The structure does not need to be equipped with any special devices and the integrity of the structure is not altered in any way. It is non-invasive and contactless.
In addition, thermal imaging can be rolled out very quickly and can provide an exhaustive inspection of the surface, even at very high temperatures.
In short, infrared technology can detect defects or damage early on so that repairs can be made.
Surveillance of sensitive sites and facilities
Protecting borders and critical infrastructures like military bases, nuclear power plants, oil & gas platforms, ports, and airports, for example, requires advanced surveillance technologies. The goal is to ensure that these sites and facilities are shielded from theft, intrusions, and terrorist attacks at all times. Infrared technology is particularly well-suited to this type of use.
With long ranges and wide fields of view, infrared technology can detect intruders over a large area. Thermal cameras have three functions: detection, recognition, and accurate, yet anonymous, identification.
Infrared detectors can be used to equip fixed security cameras and drones, potentially covering surfaces of several hectares with no human intervention, in all kinds of weather, during the day and at night.
Because infrared technology is so sophisticated, it is ideal for the surveillance of sensitive sites and facilities as well as for border control.
Civil surveillance for public safety and security
Thermal imaging can also enhance the performance of civil surveillance solutions. Security cameras equipped with thermal infrared detectors are in high demand from police, fire, rescue, and customs.
Firefighters, for example, can use infrared technology to detect hotspots in walls, floors, and ceilings to determine whether or not a fire is still active. Thermal imaging can “see” through smoke and in the dark, making it an effective tool for locating people trapped in ruins, for instance.
Police and customs can also benefit from thermal imaging, which has the power to make nighttime operations safer and easier. With infrared, a suspect will remain completely visible in the dark of night. Infrared images are also useful for securing a site before an intervention.
These are just some of the ways thermal imaging can add value to products that are already very effective, but whose functionality could be limited in darkness or low visibility. On the surveillance market, powerful and accurate night vision is in high demand. This growing market requires advanced equipment to meet increasing safety and security expectations in sometimes-sensitive environments.
You can learn more about LYNRED’s solutions in this interview with Eric, customer support at LYNRED. LYNRED’s customer support department knows better than anyone how our customers use thermal imaging every day!