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Thermal Cameras Maintain Perimeter Security Under Extreme Conditions

Bosch eliminates blind spots and boosts situational awareness with DINION IP thermal 8000 and MIC IP fusion 9000i thermal imaging cameras

Perimeter protection of critical infrastructures such as airports, government buildings, power plants, oil refineries, sea terminals, and bridges is a top priority. Networked security cameras have become the status quo in perimeter protection of these areas over the past years. But despite constant advancements in technical capabilities, the number of security breaches is increasing at an alarming rate.
A current research conducted by the Associated Press finds the number of intrusions at the busiest 31 airports in the United States at an all-time high: The report counted 345 perimeter security breaches between 2004 and 2016. Reported incidents of breaches include intruders scaling fences, walking past vehicle checkpoints or even crashing cars into barriers in order to access restricted areas.
The industry has been mounting a strong response. The European and North American perimeter security markets are set to reach $3.91 billion and $5.1 billion by 2019, respectively. Within these markets, network video surveillance has the highest potential to drastically increase perimeter security. But as experience shows, even some of the most advanced and reliable cameras fall short of providing complete protection for two reasons.
Human error and technological weaknesses
As intruders resort to more and more complex methods to bypass security, the main weak spot facing security cameras remains unchanged: human error. The average security operator can miss 90% of activity after viewing the video screen for only 20 minutes. Combined with the multitude of cameras operating simultaneously at large facilities, like commercial airports, these lapses in attention create loopholes for intruders. And one loophole, even for a few seconds, can be enough to allow unwarranted access into critical areas.
Intruders are also learning to exploit technological weaknesses, or “blind spots” in conventional optical video cameras; even the most advanced high-definition versions. Lapses in security coverage can be caused by extreme conditions that result in limited vision. Smoke, dust, or spray from bodies of water, heavy rain, glare from the sun, or complete darkness can all be abused as covers to bypass security.
Warding off intruders with analytics plus thermal imaging
Confronting these threats to perimeter security, the industry has been pursuing two approaches: First, Video Content Analysis (VCA) helps effectively close the loopholes created by human error and trigger automated alarms upon detecting intruders. And second, the shortcomings of visible light cameras can be overcome by thermal imaging cameras – detecting the heat signatures of intruders – in devices that have become more powerful and affordable in recent years.
But in order to make a difference, these two approaches need to work in unison: Without thermal camera image capture under extreme conditions such as rain, smoke, and glare, even the most powerful content analysis algorithms have no chance of detecting intruders exploiting camera blind spots. And without the aid of Video Content Analysis (VCA), thermal imaging cameras are reduced to becoming one more screen in the control room that becomes largely unmonitored in a matter of minutes and subject to human error. So only the combination of analytics and thermal images closes loopholes for intruders.
The next evolution in perimeter protection
As the answer, Bosch has successfully introduced an evolution in the security cameras market: The DINION IP thermal 8000 camera combines powerful thermal imaging with Bosch’s proprietary suite of built-in Intelligent Video Analytics and outstanding corrosion resistance. This makes it ideal for mission-critical applications such as perimeter protection of airports, critical infrastructures, government buildings and bridges. It ensures early detection in environments with limited vision due to poor lighting conditions, smoke or complete darkness. The DINION IP thermal 8000 cameras is joined in the thermal imaging product portfolio by the MIC IP fusion 9000i camera that combines an optical and thermal imager in a single weather-proof, extremely robust housing, also with built-in video analytics.
In mission-critical applications like the perimeter protection of airports, critical infrastructure, and border patrol, Intelligent Video Analytics can be customized with user-defined rules. These include automatically triggered alarms for an intruder climbing a fence, someone leaving an object behind or parking in an unauthorized area. The system can intelligently track moving objects and can be configured to recognize changes in a person’s speed (running), shape (crouching) or aspect ratio (falling).
Focus on Intelligent Video Analytics
What’s more, the symbiosis between highly precise thermal optics and intelligence at the edge goes beyond preventing blind spots and human error. Intelligent Video Analytics actually makes the camera even more valuable in perimeter threat detection. The technology can notice events – and sound alerts – at distances where operators would struggle to notice changes on the screen without the Intelligent Video Analytics. Equipped with a 65mm lens, the DINION IP thermal 8000 camera delivers early detection and alerts over distances up to 610m – even in complete darkness – thanks to the combination of thermal imaging and Intelligent Video Analytics.
Intelligent Video Analytics also adds sense and structure to video footage via metadata for later analysis or forensic searches. In a typical setting, 20 seconds are sufficient to filter all relevant video sequences out of four hours’ worth of video using metadata. The system also supports searches for events originally not set up as an alert via the unique forensic search functionality. This “smart” data can be used in police investigations, for instance to find a car of interest based on color, time, location or the direction it was travelling.
In challenging applications across the globe, Intelligent Video Analytics has proven highly successful in ruling out false alarms that are especially prevalent in challenging environments prone to snow, wind, rain, hail, and water reflections. For added benefits, both the DINION IP thermal 8000 and MIC IP fusion 9000i camera afford customers a bitrate reduction of up to 80% to ease storage bandwidth and network strain. They also achieve the highest degree of data security via proprietary Bosch encryption technology at the hardware and network level.
Technical parameters: Built to withstand the elements
The DINION IP thermal 8000 camera offers excellent thermal performance, built-in Intelligent Video Analytics and outstanding corrosion resistance meeting the EN 50130-5 salt mist test, withstanding up to 1000 hours of salt/mist under test conditions. Its thermal vision capabilities are powered by an advanced thermal module to capture the invisible thermal energy radiating from moving or stationary objects.
This data is translated in real-time into the high-quality relevant thermal images, available in two video resolutions: QVGA or VGA. The DINION IP thermal 8000 camera’s level of actionable image data delivers images even in situations where natural barriers such as leaves or foliage obstruct the field of view.
Another bonus for operators: The DINION IP thermal 8000 camera actively supports easy set-up and calibration. The built-in gyro sensor helps configure the camera’s pre-loaded analytics by gathering the most important parameters automatically. Users are merely required to enter the height where the camera is mounted and the configuration process for the on board analytics is complete.
Complete perimeter safety
In the bigger picture, the DINION IP thermal 8000 camera is a key step in Bosch Security Systems’ focused mission to provide operators with the most relevant image data possible. And while it marks a new level of early detection at previously unattainable distances, there is a caveat: The DINION IP thermal 8000 camera is not a stand-alone replacement for visible light cameras, but plays a supporting role in creating an unmatched level of security in existing systems.
As the next step in joining Intelligent Video Analytics with thermal imaging, Bosch has brought to market a new moving camera boasting both thermal and optical camera capabilities. The MIC IP fusion 9000i camera provides maximum situational awareness and early object detection – even with limited visibility due to smoke, in complete darkness or when objects or people are obscured by foliage.
The camera’s unique metadata fusion feature fuses together metadata from the camera’s built-in optical and thermal imager. This helps users to focus on ‘invisible’ things that need attention. If an event is detected that is not visible in the video stream being watched, an alarm is triggered anyway for full situational awareness around the clock.
With these scenarios in mind, the DINION IP thermal 8000 fixed camera and MIC IP fusion 9000i moving cameras represent crucial milestones in Bosch Security and Safety System’s ongoing journey of making video image data more relevant to our end users. By adding thermal cameras powered by Intelligent Video Analytics to their perimeter security solutions, customers may never miss a potential threat and can retrieve the correct data quickly, however extreme the conditions.