Sarix TI Thermal PTZ Camera
by Security Electronics and Networks | @Articles Product Reviews | June 13, 2012, 7:00am AEST
PELCO by Schneider does most its own development and built facilities at Fort Collins in the U.S. to do research and development for its new Sarix SureVision range, as well as for the Sarix TI family. It’s probably no coincidence then, that a particular quality of Sarix TI is that is as easy to install and use as any traditional dome camera, giving integrators and end users advanced thermal imaging capabilities for all their video security applications.
The result is an affordable camera system that delivers high-quality video as well as the power and flexibility that only comes with thermal imaging technology. It goes without saying that thermal cameras offer great functionality. They have the ability to see live intruders at great distances, in water, hidden in foliage. No, you’re not going to get face recognition from a Sarix TI but you’ll absolutely know that there’s an intruder on your site.
The model I look at it at Pelco by Schneider Electric’s Sydney office is the 640 x 480 pixel model and it reminds me in terms of its build quality, of that high-end Esprit eternal PTZ unit so beloved by NASA. The fit and finish of this unit are excellent. It’s a high end camera – a mil-spec solution for serious security applications. This is the highest resolution unit of its type – ideal for industrial sites, long range applications or high security sites.
Pelco also has lower resolution versions of Sarix TI that offer the same functionality and ease of integration but I don’t see these units on this visit. Available in fixed or pan/tilt enclosures, this model offers unprecedented protection beyond four miles when outfitted with a 100 mm lens. Yeah, that’s some serious detection capability.
Pelco by Schneider Electric’s engineers developed unique algorithms that provide automatic correction to eliminate the effects of direct, prolonged sun exposure, overcoming the challenges sometimes associated with thermal imaging cameras. At the core of the Sarix TI Series is an uncooled, sun-safe microbolometer, long wavelength infrared camera that is engineered to be more durable than ever before.
Microbolometers, the specialized image sensors used to detect an object’s thermal emission (temperature and emissivity) and create a thermal image, feature either vanadium oxide or amorphous silicon coatings. Amorphous silicon is used in Sarix TI because it delivers several benefits — including lower cost and less fixed pattern noise — that make thermal imaging a possibility for any application.
When it comes to operational characteristics all thermal imaging cameras see emitted thermal energy and Sarix TI recognizes even the slightest change in temperature or emissivity. This might be a person or it might be a hot spot in a plant or industrial process. The thermal contrast between objects in low-visible-light conditions provides the information necessary to quickly make informed decisions – information that standard visible light cameras cannot deliver. This information is delivered to a VMS and the operator has the option of choosing colours to display the thermal energy on the monitor.
The beauty of Sarix TI is its ability to apply the power of thermal imaging to any application that presents challenging lighting conditions. Even in total darkness, Sarix TI allows operators to see potential threats that may not be captured by a standard visible light camera.
Sarix TI comes standard with a suite of built-in video analytics that enhance the flexibility and performance of your IP system, and can even be configured for analog applications. The ability of thermal imaging to immediately detect threats — sometimes before even the human eye can — coupled with the automatic notification of suspicious activity, makes customers more prepared than ever to keep their property secure.
Since thermal images are based on the thermal emission from objects, they are much less susceptible to changes in lighting or environmental conditions than visible analytics. This means more accurate analytics with fewer false alarms.
I get a test run of the camera inside an office during the day which is not ideal but the capability of the system is such that it’s immediately clear what the camera could do in an external environment at night. The space is a large air conditioned office area perhaps 30 metres deep. This building is green as green can be and relies on air movement and shade protection to keep things cool. It goes without saying that a byproduct of this power saving is that the interior of the building and its surfaces are warmer than usual.
As well as getting a look at the ability of the system to run on a standard Pelco VMS, the idea is to get a feel for the ability of the camera to pick up movement of individuals in a given scene and to show resolution. As part of the demo the software is being used to count the number of people who move in the scene as a lateral application that might be used on a given site.
From my subjective perspective, the image is clear – you can’t identify the person but there’s no doubt there is a person in the scene at any depth. In fact, if anything the camera’s powerful lens is not at home is this wide and shallow environment but ability to detect the heads of staff popping up and down is as good as you’d expect it to be.
Once set up on a workstation in the demo room, management of the camera is easy and everything works the same way as a standard Sarix camera. Once we’ve look at the TI, the boys show me the Sarix SureVision’s low light performance and comparing the 2 technologies it’s immediately obvious that the operation of TI and SureVision cameras is equally simple and intuitive.
Features of Sarix TI
* PTZ and fixed models
* 640 x 480, 384 x 288, or 240 x 184 options
* H.264 and MJPEG compression simultaneous
* Built-in analytics
* Maximum protection, NEMA 4X and IP66
* Compact, lightweight aluminum construction
* Complete with sun shroud and heater/defroster
* LWIR, uncooled, sun-safe amorphous silicon microbol
* Sensitivity below 50 mK at f/1.0
* User-definable/programmable camera settings
* 24 VAC or 24 VDC power.