An Extra Pair of Eyes

Having the right lens completes the security course

There is a camera for every need and situation, and there are lenses to complement them all for various applications.

The biggest challenge in outdoor live surveillance for border patrol, Coast Guard and traffic control applications is atmospheric interference from fog, snow or haze. Existing fog cancellation devices are expensive and often require multiple cameras with individual adjustment to each camera.

Another challenge in an outdoor surveillance lens is the fact that existing optical fog reduction technology employs interference reduction spectrum and therefore cannot reproduce color or process solid particles, such as snow, smoke or sand.

An Emerging Trend

Innovative thinking and technology is changing all that.

"We've introduced a product known as the Pentax atmospheric interference reduction lens," said Tom Harada, managing director for security systems and machine vision optics for Pentax Imaging Co.

"The technology offers newly developed image processing circuitry installed in a lens housing with specific algorithms and signal processing for each lens characteristic."

The lens and technology come in handy for several applications, including use in several global landbased oil refinery sites. In weather conditions that normally prevent line of sight, this technology allows security staff to safely monitor the lay of the land. Military organizations also have shown interest in the atmospheric interference reduction technology, testing the solution at several air base runways and ports.

"The quality of the lens makes all the difference, but to tell the truth, the interference reduction allows for long-range zoom capabilities," Harada said. "It also has been used successfully on the southern border initiative and in a pan-and-tilt camera."

Because there is no need to adjust for the image, the image offers real-time clarity, even after video switching with several cameras. The technology also provides the capability to mitigate graininess caused by solid particles, such as snow, smoke or sand, as well as liquid particles, including rain and fog.

"We've listened to our customers and made the appropriate modifications and adjustment to the lens in order to streamline the process for what is needed by the integrator," Harada said. "The technology entirely eliminates the need for more expensive, separate fog cancellation devices that require multiple cameras with individual adjustments."

This article originally appeared in the April 2010 issue of Security Products.

About the Author

Ralph C. Jensen is editor-in-chief of Security Today magazine.


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