Port Security & Surveillance

SWIR Imaging Penetrates Through Haze For Port and Homeland Security and Surveillance

InGaAs SWIR imagers are complimentary to thermal imagers when it comes to vision enhancement and low visibility in poor weather conditions. Imagery in the SWIR is similar to visible imagery, in that it senses reflected light, thus interpretation and scene analysis is improved over thermal systems. Thermal imagers have good detection abilities, and such imagers are a good compliment to the short wave infrared. While thermal imaging can detect the presence of a warm object against a cool background, a SWIR camera can actually identify what that object is (for example, ships, vehicles, and personnel).

This video shows the superior performance of SWIR cameras penetrating through fog and haze of the San Francisco Bay Bridge.

This video shows how a Sensors Unlimited SWIR camera penetrates through haze to reveal Berkely city landscape.


In this video shows the clear advantage of short wave IR cameras in that they can penetrate through fog and haze in order to provide more information-rich imagery.


The short wave infrared can also aid in thermal cross over scenarios. Thermal crossover is simply a point where the temperature of the object you are trying to image is equivalent to the temperature of the background. In the images below, taken a sunrise, the details of the shoreline and the water are lost when imaged with a long wave IR camera. At this point, a SWIR camera detects the reflected light, not the temperature - making the shoreline stand out, and also capturing more detail then a visible camera.

As an added benefit, Sensors Unlimited cameras require no cooling and can image day or night, eliminating the costly need to change a camera for day and night use. In order to serve a variety of security platforms, SWIR technology is rapidly advancing with better performance being offered in smaller packages. For more information on penetrating haze please click here.

Many SWIR camera capabilities are considered sensitive. If you would like to learn more about SWIR capabilities for the military, you can register at a special web site, www.swirconops.com. You must be a US Government employee or a USG contractor and be a US Citizen to access this site.