Thermal Cameras Enhance Perimeter Security

thermal camera

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The use of thermal cameras across a range of infrastructure and perimeter security applications is on the rise.

A true end-to-end perimeter intrusion detection system requires an advanced, multi-layered solution. It is essential that this system be easy to use and capable of not only defending against attacks but also helping security personnel proactively anticipate an event before it occurs.

One notable technology that is being increasingly deployed in perimeter applications across all sectors is thermal imaging. By utilizing thermal cameras, facilities can detect intruders from greater distances regardless of light and environmental factors, giving security forces more time to react and respond. Solutions such as these not only bolster situational awareness but also act as a force multiplier, increasing monitoring coverage and efficiency with less physical staff.

According to, the value of thermal security cameras is that they generate images from heat, not light. This enables thermal imagers to provide a clear visual in complete darkness and see through obscurants like smoke, dust and light fog. For this reason, thermal imaging is one of the most effective 24/7 surveillance technologies on the market today.

Thermal cameras are also cost-effective perimeter solutions. While traditional fiber optics and fence detection systems require extensive cabling, thermal cameras can be mounted on existing infrastructure, reducing installation time. Additionally, thermal cameras see in low-light or no-light scenarios, eliminating the need for lighting poles and external illuminators.

Increased demand and expanding production has led to lower price points for thermal solutions, making the technology more accessible for critical infrastructure applications.

Using thermal cameras, in conjunction with other alarm sensors, offers an interlocking web of video tools for intrusion detection, alarm verification and forensic evidence gathering.

A virtual “Thermal Fence” to deter trespassing is created by combining thermal cameras with sophisticated sensor control and video management software (VMS).

Thermal fences use data obtained from sensors, such as radio frequency identification (RFID) and radar, to identify and classify objects that have entered a designated area without authorization. This analytic tool is ideal for applications like airports, which cover large distances, or seaports, which are unable to have physical fences or barriers.

Today, thermal cameras embedded with military-grade analytics provide instant detection of persons, vehicles and other objects. Thermal’s unique ability to provide high contrast imaging, regardless of light or environment, allows for high-performance video analytics.

Another innovative way to use thermal technology to enhance perimeter awareness is through drone-based thermal camera surveillance. Utilizing remote controlled drones equipped with thermal sensors extends surveillance beyond the point of fixed cameras, allowing security teams to survey fence lines, towers, bridges, substations, and buildings.

Additionally, trip wires and virtual barriers set by video analytics can trigger drone flight through VMS software and track suspicious activity. The industry should expect to see more deployments of aerial devices with thermal sensors in the near future.