December 8, 2023

Why Will You Need a Thermal Security System

The security of your strategic objectives is crucial, both for the economic security of your organization and for the safety of the population or staff working in your field. Are you a government organization, and do you need a comprehensive method of identifying threats from a distance? Are you a private company looking for an efficient way to reduce your security workforce? Need help with search and rescue operations? If so, you will need to invest in a thermal security system.

High-quality thermal cameras are marvels of modern technology that can be essential to achieving your goals. Thermal systems can be used in low-light environments, are necessary for military applications where identifying objects from a distance is the first step to a prompt response, can be integrated with the other security systems used by your company or organization, and have the potential to decrease the false alarms specific to visible light cameras. Moreover, they can visualize targets even in adverse weather conditions and can, when purchased from a reputable brand, be some of the most reliable pieces of gear money can buy. 

The operating principle of thermal cameras is quite simple. Visible light accounts for only a tiny part of the electromagnetic spectrum and is not emitted by most objects. Do you want to see in the dark? In this case, the best solution is to use thermal cameras, which record images in Infrared. Any object gives off infrared energy in the form of heat. But our eyes have not evolved to visualize this wavelength, unlike vampire bats or some species of snake. Infrared cameras detect the heat released by objects and convert the recorded information into electrical signals, which can then be converted into visible pixels. The principle is similar to that of an ordinary camera, the only difference being the recorded wavelengths and the detectors used. 

Are They Worth It?  

Global military spending has fallen significantly from its peak in the 1960s. However, peace, as history has shown us time and time again, is not permanent, and at some point, somewhere, for who knows what reason, a national or international conflict will erupt. You are a federal entity, and you want to protect your borders? Then, investing in a thermal security system would be the best option to safeguard citizens. Thermal cameras work in low-light conditions and do not require moonlight or sunlight. Want to patrol your maritime borders? In that case, IR cameras will be perfect. 

Thermal cameras can see through fog or smoke, identify threats from distances of tens of kilometers, be an effective tool against camouflage attempts, and greatly help industrial quality control applications. High-quality military-grade thermal cameras are rugged, field-tested, and modular and can be integrated with the other security systems used by your organization. A modular PTZ platform can include an IR sensor, a visible light camera, radars, signal jammers, and swappable lenses. Modularity, reliability, and durability are keywords when discussing high-quality thermal cameras. And that’s why their price is premium. 

High-quality thermal systems are not toys but are accurate, durable, and versatile tools that must work perfectly in different weather conditions and for various applications. A thermal security system also has limitations, such as the inability to distinguish colors or to identify inscriptions on monitored objects. However, they are the best way to keep track of your objectives from a distance and respond to threats before they can affect your military assets. 


LWIR and MWIR stand for Long-wave Infrared and Mid-wave infrared. These are, in a nutshell, similar technologies for measuring IR radiation that focus on distinct ranges of the electromagnetic spectrum. LWIR can record radiation from objects that emit thermal information between 8 and 15 μm, while MWIR falls in the lower infrared spectrum, between 3 and 8 μm. What does this mean? Different sensitivity to temperature changes. 

LWIR can record thermal radiation of medium intensity and is a technology mainly used for industrial monitoring or long-range surveillance. MWIR and SWIR offer greater sensitivity to temperature variations and are used in military applications where identification of differences between targets is crucial. MWIR requires high sensitivity to temperature variations, so its sensor must be actively cooled. What are the advantages of a cooled sensor? 

To begin with, a reduction of thermal noise and a broadening of the recordable electromagnetic spectrum. Secondly, active cooling can avoid the over-saturation of the image and significantly improve the resolution of the recorded frames. Since detectors in a MWIR or SWIR camera are made of materials sensitive to thermal radiation, such as Indium Antimonide, the lower the camera’s temperature, the more precise the image will be. This, of course, means higher costs and more maintenance worries. But the trade-off is well worth it in situations where precision is needed. 

How Do You Choose the Right Thermal Camera?  

The correct thermal security system can make the difference between a threat discovered too late and one to which you can respond swiftly. But the options available to you, especially if you use the services of professional companies like SilentSentinel, are impressive, and you may get lost among the specifications and options you can choose from. The first step you need to take is to determine the primary application for which you want to use the thermal camera. Are you a private organization? If so, an LWIR camera system will probably suit your needs. Are you a national entity? If so, a SWIR system may be more appropriate.

If you plan to use your newly purchased camera for more than one application, buying a modular platform supplemented with radars and visible light sensors would be a good idea. A high-quality military-grade camera system should be well-rounded, benefit from PTZ capabilities, and be versatile enough for any use case. Do you want to record targets during the day? In that case, a 4K camera combined with a 100mm lens will be necessary. Do you want to capture night shots? In this case, you will have to switch to an IR sensor.  Modularity will be crucial for your requirements. And so will the system’s ruggedness. 

The Most Significant Boost to Your System’s Security  

Investing in a military-grade thermal security system will be one of the most inspired decisions to keep your perimeters secure and monitor your targets. Thermal cameras are not toys but high-tech equipment that should only be used for industrial or military applications. Are you an organization operating internationally? Are you concerned about the number of data breaches happening lately? Do you suspect foul play? If so, a long-range LWIR camera could be a tool to boost your on-site security while also downsizing your workforce. 

Are you a national entity, and are you looking for the most efficient way to secure your borders? If so, a SWIR or MWIR thermal camera would be the best solution for your use cases. Thermal cameras can identify threats from tens of kilometers away, give you the insight you need to plan a course of action, and are the best way to monitor military or commercial assets of strategic importance. High-quality thermal cameras are the backbone of modern surveillance practices, are versatile and durable tools that can be used in a variety of environments, and are, at the same time, an effective solution to safeguard your targets and protect citizens.

About the author 

Kyrie Mattos

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