Systems & Technology Overview
More than 25 years ago, FLIR Systems developed the first affordable airborne thermal imaging system and pioneered its use for airborne law enforcement. Today, FLIR Systems now has a complete range of solutions for integrated surveillance and detection operations, including EO/IR cameras, wide area surveillance radars, mobile platforms and command and control software along with a full range of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive (CBRNE) detectors.
FLIR's EO/IR sensors are in use by state, local and federal law enforcement agencies throughout the United States, and around the world. More than 1,200 wide area surveillance radars are deployed to provide beyond the fence surveillance for military and border applications. With all the technological and development capabilities in-house, FLIR has the ability to integrate comprehensive surveillance solutions.
Forward looking infrared technology, sometimes referred to as a thermal imager or infrared camera is a device that creates an image using infrared energy, similar to a conventional video camera that creates an image using visible light. Instead of using the 0.4 – 0.7 micron range of a visible light camera, infrared cameras operate in longer wavelengths that range from 3 - 5 micron to 8 - 12 micron.
FLIR technology can be a useful tool that allows you to see in complete darkness and through most weather conditions including rain, smoke, haze, and dense fog. Here we will explain the process of converting infrared energy into an image and displaying it on a monitor.
To create an image, the infrared camera uses a germanium lens to collect all of the infrared energy in a scene and focus it on to an infrared detector. The information is then sent to the image processing electronics which converts the data into a clean crisp image that can be displayed on a video monitor.
FLIR radars were the first commercial ground-level surveillance radars operating in the very high frequency MMW bands. Conventional radar systems operate at much lower frequencies and are less able to discern small, slow and soft targets. Millimeter wave radar presents very different technical challenges, requiring fundamentally different signal processing and data analysis while optimizing the design of all key components - antennas, electrical circuitry, firmware and software.
FLIR combines these proprietary circuits with real-time operational and signal processing software. Our millimeter wave technology improves image resolution by four-fold or more over conventional microwave radar and penetrates light rain, fog and smoke — conditions that often defeat infrared technologies. Advanced software algorithms provide object recognition and can control and direct visible and infrared cameras to point toward radar-identified targets.