New continuous-wave (CW) laser illumination solves detection and visual challenges at night. This breakthrough makes it possible to look far further than the normal application used to be. ASMAG.com inspects into the promising technique below.
Physical security professionals in transportation, critical infrastructure and government organizations are increasingly tasked with not only detecting objects at night, but also investigating, interpreting and responding to criminal and terrorist threats.
To help professionals evaluate technologies that will most improve their long-range investigative capabilities, Vumii employed continuous -wave (CW) laser illumination technologies that use advanced electro-optics to produce a natural contrast.
Key features of CW laser illumination include improved scalability, magnification, pixel performance, zoom capabilities, versatility and controllable light sources. More importantly, CW technology enables long-range and high-magnification night vision for perimeter protection. Many perimeter security systems around the world struggle with night-vision problems, and current popular thermal imaging systems have, on occasion, mistakenly ignored true threats or falsely identified harmless nuisances.
"CW systems use active illumination to easily produce high detail in any light with no shadows, while thermal imaging systems rely on heat emitted by the target," said Randall Foster, cofounder, CEO and President of Vumii.
CW laser technology also allows users to recognize faces and writing. "Because CW laser illumination produces a natural-contrast image rather than a heat-contrast image, people look like people and words, characters and markings can be read," Foster explained. This approach gives security professionals the ability to identify targets, recognize facial features, read license plates and ship identification numbers at distances of up to 3,000 meters.
This new technology can operate in full-color resolution video during the day and grayscale at night. Security operators utilizing CW illumination can see through standard or tinted-glass, arming them with stronger night-vision capabilities to maintain the safety and security of perimeters and those within.
CW illumination technology converts and shapes native narrow laser beams into a column or cone of evenly distributed energy with a common wave front. This 10 watt beam, invisible to the human eye, can be dynamically controlled in terms of focus, diameter (divergence) and intensity (light strength). By locating the illumination on a pan-tilt motor, the beam can be directed to areas of up to 5,000 meters away. A specific imager with associated optics for magnification and light collection are co-located on the same platform, which are then automatically synchronized to match the camera's field of view to the illuminated laser beam area. This reflected energy is then sensed by the camera's imager and produces full motion video for a user to see on-screen. With software support, users can manage camera controls much like they would with PTZ cameras, and can choose to operate aspects of the laser independently to control light strength, divergence and focus.
Cameras equipped with CW laser technology help security personnel make better decisions, under poor light conditions, regarding the safety and protection of commercial and industrial locations, transportation infrastructure, national borders and government and military sites.