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Proceedings Paper

Materials to enable vehicle and personnel identification from surveillance aircraft equipped with visible and IR cameras
Author(s): Eoin S. O'Keefe
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Paper Abstract

As thermal imaging technology matures and ownership costs decrease, there is a trend to equip a greater proportion of airborne surveillance vehicles used by security and defence forces with both visible band and thermal infrared cameras. These cameras are used for tracking vehicles on the ground, to aid in pursuit of villains in vehicles and on foot, while also assisting in the direction and co-ordination of emergency service vehicles as the occasion arises. These functions rely on unambiguous identification of police and the other emergency service vehicles. In the visible band this is achieved by dark markings with high contrast (light) backgrounds on the roof of vehicles. When there is no ambient lighting, for example at night, thermal imaging is used to track both vehicles and people. In the thermal IR, the visible markings are not obvious. At the wavelength thermal imagers operate, either 3-5 microns or 8-12 microns, the dark and light coloured materials have similar low reflectivity. To maximise the usefulness of IR airborne surveillance, a method of passively and unobtrusively marking vehicles concurrently in the visible and thermal infrared is needed. In this paper we discuss the design, application and operation of some vehicle and personnel marking materials and show airborne IR and visible imagery of materials in use.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 October 2005
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 5987, Electro-Optical and Infrared Systems: Technology and Applications II, 598708 (12 October 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.633985
Show Author Affiliations
Eoin S. O'Keefe, QinetiQ Ltd. (United Kingdom)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5987:
Electro-Optical and Infrared Systems: Technology and Applications II
Ronald G. Driggers; David A. Huckridge, Editor(s)

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