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On Drones, Thermal Cameras, and the Future of Humanity


3 mins


Opgal staff writers

published published

August 27, 2019


Counter Drone Detection

When thinking about drones, one may think about ominous military UAVs as autonomous killing machines hovering above undetected, but the fact is there are more civilian drones flying the skies than military ones. Utilization of drones in construction and agriculture is developing rapidly – making drone detection system more crucial than ever.

The future is now.

Potentially, drones are as disruptive as the internet. Like the “global village” effect, they will fundamentally change the way we relate to each other across space. Flying robots provide access to three-dimensional space in entirely new ways. They allow us to reach points we couldn’t access before. Ariel construction, architecture, farming, transportation, law enforcement – the possibilities are endless.

Drones will become as ubiquitous as pigeons.

Scary. But why waste 300 words ranting about drones like a crazed rabble-rouser lamenting the end of the world?

Because the time to act is now. Everyone is talking about drones now because we’ve reached the point where drone technology has become available to everyone – from your kids to an ISIS operative. It can be used to do good, or bad. Now is the time to think about what the possibilities are, what kind of applications we want for our drones, and how to manage drones used in ways in which they weren’t intended to be used.

Okay, sure. But what does this have to do with thermal imaging?

Almost everything. Equipped with a thermal imager, drones can be utilized for tasks such as environmental monitoring, industrial monitoring, infrastructure inspection, and so much more. They can inspect solar panels from above to check for missing heat spots, sending out exact data on which panel isn’t working. They can be sent out by an emergency-service dispatcher as a first responder to a scene, aiding in search and rescue, or even a police chase. They can monitor oil rigs and gas refineries for leaks before they escalate. They can explore sites to gather data in remote and sometimes dangerous areas. They can alert troops of approaching enemy forces ahead of time. Mounted with a thermal camera, they can see beyond the visible, sift through the overflow of audiovisual information and identify what matters.

In a world where even your pizza will soon be delivered by drones, you can expect some heavy air traffic filling up the sky. As restrictions gradually loosen, more and more commercial companies are looking into drones and their countless applications. But they’re not the only ones looking. Military bodies and terrorist organizations are also looking into the potential damage drones can afflict on the unsuspecting target who will soon become accustomed to having dozens of drones circling overhead.

Pandora’s Box has already been opened, and the only way to guard against technology, is to arm yourself with the proper technological countermeasures. Drones are utilized in military operations worldwide, as well as in various security applications. They come in all shapes and sizes, doing anything from recon to armed assault.

So, what does Opgal have to offer?

Foresight – which is much better than hindsight.

At Opgal, we believe that early detection of an approaching drone is crucial for a swift and immediate response. Identify a target, recognize it, and analyze its intentions before it gets too close. Maybe it’s just that pizza delivery the guards at the gate ordered, or maybe it’s a hostile drone ready to breach perimeter and snap some compromising pictures. Don’t wait and see – FORESEE.

As of 2020, our new line of mountable thermal imagers could be installed on the drone itself. With a triple FOV and a core based on the latest high-sensitivity bolometric un-cooled technology, our portable Thermal imager offers enhanced night vision capabilities, a clear aperture of 120mm, and a detection range of up to 9,000 meters. Ruggedized to the strictest military standards, our thermal imagers enable true local Situational Awareness – whether on the battlefield, or in a corn field.

Born out of +30 years of field-proven experience, we offer a selection of PTZ multi-sensor cameras capable of integrating with a third-party Auto Detection and Tracking software, alerting you of any foreseeable threat, with a 98% accuracy of detection between foreign objects in the sky. Customizable to our client’s needs – whether commercial, security, or military – our systems can be self-sustained, or integrated with an external target provider (radar, RF sensor, etc.) for a quick Frame Search & Lock, allowing the operator to focus his attention on other parts of the surveillance system, thus minimizing human error. All you’ve got to do is choose the right combination that works for you.