Thermal Imagers: ZistosHD Dual Mode Thermal Camera vs Thermal Fusion Technology

Thermal cameras have come a long way since 1929 when the first infrared-sensitive camera was invented.  This new technology was initially considered exotic and it was expensive. In the last few years, the cost of thermal imaging technology has come down significantly, although thermal imagers with reasonable image resolution can still be pricey. Thermal fusion cameras, that utilize very low-resolution thermal sensors (80×60), which are enhanced by blending in a standard video signal, can be very inexpensive when compared to medium to high resolution thermal imagers. However, the performance and suitability of images that utilizing thermal fusion can be questionable in certain applications.

Thermal fusion is achieved when an image from a standard video camera is layered on top of an image from a low-resolution thermal sensor. This produces an image that depicts a colorized visualization of an object in the field of view of the thermal sensor that is outlined with an edge created from the standard video camera. The two cameras work in conjunction to give you a crude thermal image with enhanced edges. When used in this manner, the low resolution thermal fusion can produce a reasonable and usable thermal image. There are many applications where this approach is effective. It is useful in applications such as inspecting breaker panels, steam pipes, machinery, engines and other inspection applications where there is sufficient light for the standard video camera to produce a good image that can be utilized in the blending process. It also helps to know what you are looking at in advance, this is not always the case in many thermal imaging applications.

The shortcomings of this approach occur when the standard video camera that is producing the edge enhancement overlay on the thermal image doesn’t have enough light to create its outline. The image produced by the thermal fusion camera is now significantly compromised and may be of minimal value. Without the outlined overlay from the standard video camera, the thermal image has such low resolution that the image ends up looking like blotches of ill-defined color.  The image may not convey enough detail to make an accurate assessment of individuals and environment. When thermal fusion is utilized in tactical or victim location applications, you may not always have enough illumination for the standard video camera to produce a reasonable image. This means that you may not be able to differentiate a partial or even full image of a human, from the background environment.

The ZistosHD Dual Mode Thermal Camera (THC-51D-HD) allows the operator to instantly toggle between a true 320×256 resolution thermal video camera and a 640×480 resolution, low-light, standard B&W video camera. The B&W video camera also has built in IR illumination that can further assist in low light conditions. Instead of overlaying an outline on top of a low-resolution thermal image, we use a higher resolution thermal camera in the same housing and an even higher resolution B&W low-light camera to switch between the two different images. We believe this construction is superior to thermal fusion for the following reasons.

Images shows THC-51D in both Thermal Mode & B&W IR Mode
  • The higher resolution thermal image produces a usable image without the need of any enhancement.
  • The secondary low-light B&W standard video camera can produce a video image that can convey additional visual details of the subject and environment.
  • In the THC-51D-HD, the Thermal and B&W IR Cameras are in the same housing. Therefore, there is no need to switch camera heads. It’s all done with system controls.
  • If the standard video camera in the thermal fusion process does not have enough light to produce a usable image the result is an extremely low-resolution thermal image which can be of limited value.
  • If the standard B&W camera on the THC-51D-HD doesn’t have enough light to yield a meaningful image, you can still switch it to the true thermal mode and have a usable thermal image.

All in all, despite thermal fusion being available as a new and low-cost thermal technology it may not be suitable as an imaging tool for many tactical and victim location/rescue missions, or any application where you can’t count on adequate illumination for the standard video camera to function. A higher resolution, standalone thermal image, such as the images produced by the ZistosHD THC-51D-HD camera, will in many instances be of more value than an image produced using a thermal fusion camera.

Visit us at NYTOA 2019

The Next Generation of Zistos Tactical Surveillance Gear has arrived!

In addition to having our standard definition, rugged & field-proven gear in the booth (208) at NYTOA, we will now be showing our New ZistosHD Tactical tools. The New ZistosHD Tactical tools are wireless, encrypted, support full 1080P resolution, and have an array of field-swappable telescoping poles and cameras as well as 6+ hour rechargeable batteries. This system design maximizes its suitability & availability for whatever your tactical operation may throw at you.

Learn more about ZistosHD Tactical Tools

Zistos Corporation
NYTOA – Booth #208
April 17-18
Turning Stone Resort & Casino
Verona, NY

Thoroughly search any passenger or commercial vehicle with tools from Zistos

The All Surface Vehicle System (WA-VSAS14) helps law enforcement and security personnel do a quick and effective visual inspection of any passenger or commercial vehicles, within any climate.

The system ​facilitates a thorough and safe search of difficult to reach, inaccessible areas such as the undercarriage, wheel wells, engine compartments and interior under-dash spaces on a vehicle that could be where contraband or IED devices may be hidden.

  • Modular and field-configurable to search all vehicle zones in one compact, portable system
  • Excellent tool for vehicle checkpoints at vulnerable locations and attractive targets
  • Rugged, weather resistant body-worn video display, cameras and components
  • Provides excellent image detail with camera-integrated illumination and variable magnification

For more information or a free product demonstration, please don’t hesitate to reach out by phone: (631) 434-1370, email: info@zistos.com or website: www.zistos.com.  We look forward to hearing from you.

Zistos Tactical Products: A History of Field-Proven Reliability

Designed for Tactical Surveillance Missions…

Dual View Under Door Camera

The Zistos Dual-View Under-the-Door Camera (ZDV) provides a means of covert visual intelligence in hostage-barricade scenarios. It features two high-resolution, CCD camera chips that toggle from one to the other providing a safe and covert view of both forward looking into a room as well as upward looking at the back of the door. It employs IR illumination, video-frame integration and ultra-sensitive audio microphone.

StealthSCOPE

Designed for tactical surveillance applications, the Zistos StealthSCOPE™ (SSM) is a videoscope that combines a powerful internal 980nm IR laser light source — completely invisible to humans — with electronically-enhanced, low-light video processing. Its 9mm diameter allows it to be inserted into small openings and tight areas. It can generate images of objects and individuals as far as 20+ feet away in pitch darkness.

Through-The-Wall

The newly improved Zistos Through-The-Wall (TTW) system now provides audio as well as visual intelligence in hostage-barricade scenarios. The added audio module enables tactical teams to have additional insight into a current situation. The system utilizes a high performance, low-light camera equipped with a pinhole lens for covert observation into an adjacent interior room through a sheetrock wall.

Dual Mode Thermal Camera System

The NEW Zistos Tactical Dual Mode Thermal Pole Camera System (WS-TPS-A9D) featuring our THC-51D camera, provides the ultimate in tactical surveillance. It helps ensure your team maintains the visual advantage, increasing safety and effectiveness of tactical missions. The system outputs true thermal image with full thermal resolution, and an additional full resolution, low-light black & white image that toggles with the thermal image.

Other Tactical Surveillance Products can be viewed here.

For more information or a free product demonstration, please don’t hesitate to reach out by phone: (631) 434-1370, email: info@zistos.com or website: www.zistos.com.  We look forward to hearing from you.

Dual View Under Door Camera

Designed for tactical surveillance missions…

The Zistos Dual-View Under-the-Door Camera (ZDV) features two high-resolution, CCD camera chips that toggle from one to the other. It employs IR illumination, video-frame integration and an ultra-sensitive audio microphone.

When inserted under a door, the first or forward-looking, sensor allows the user to covertly view 3 to 4 m (15 to 20 ft) into a dark room facilitating a quick assessment of hidden threats. Additionally, the camera can transition to a second sensor designed to provide a high-resolution image of the door knob and frame on the reverse of the door. This feature allows users to assess if the door may be barricaded or rigged with an explosive.

To ensure user safety, the Dual-View Under-the-Door Camera is supplied with a 6 ft (2 m) telescoping pole that allows the camera to be deployed and panned at a safe distance from the door. The ZDV is fully compatible with all existing Zistos tactical surveillance systems and other components.

For more information or a free product demonstration, please don’t hesitate to reach out by phone: (631) 434-1370, email: info@zistos.com or website: www.zistos.com.  We look forward to hearing from you.

Gain Audio & Visual Intelligence – Through a Sheetrock Wall!

Gain Audio & Visual Intelligence – Through a Sheetrock Wall!

The Through-The-Wall (TTW) system is ideally suited for hostage barricade scenarios as well as explosive breaching.

The system contains a specially designed hand drill, cutting tools, a pinhole camera, WalkAbout display and audio module that facilitates visual and audio observation into an adjacent interior room through a sheetrock wall. New to this system is a contact microphone to add audio intelligence through the wall with no additional holes necessary.

Like many of our systems, our TTW Camera System was developed at the request of, and with the cooperation from Law Enforcement.

TTW on wall shots (4)The system combines a very high performing low-light camera equipped with a pinhole lens, and all the tools necessary to quietly install the system without alerting the subjects of the surveillance operation.

A custom designed sheetrock hole-cutter is used to create an access opening. The silent hand drill is employed with two different bits: one to strip out the plaster, and the other to IMG_3263create a small 1/8” (3.2mm) observation hole through the far wall. The Low Light Pinhole Camera is then put into position and the video is viewed on a battery-powered, WalkAbout video monitor.

The system supports invisible IR illumination of the room with an included illuminator through a second pin hole, if necessary. It can also be adapted for other display solutions, which includes a wireless WiFi transmitter to stream the video to a computer or mobile device.

For more information or a free product demonstration, please don’t hesitate to reach out by phone: (631) 434-1370, email: info@zistos.com or website: www.zistos.com.  We look forward to hearing from you.

Searching and Securing a Venue

Truck-Search

The Zistos Vehicle Search System helps security personnel and law enforcement do a quick, visual inspection of any passenger or commercial vehicle entering a large public venue, secured checkpoint or other vulnerable location — safely and more effectively — without climbing, crawling or kneeling.

Thoroughly search any passenger or commercial vehicle.

Dash-Cargo-InsetThe Vehicle Search System includes of all the necessary tools to facilitate a thorough search of the vehicle’s engine compartment, undercarriage, interior under-dash spaces and wheel wells — which may be difficult or dangerous to access.

The Zistos Vehicle Search System makes an excellent first line screening device that can be used to help decide whether a vehicle should be singled out for an increased level of scrutiny.
*Video of Inspection*

The system is effective on many levels: it keeps operators safe and helps avoid injury, it presents a strong visual deterrent, it increases their screening capabilities, it increases public confidence that appropriate security measures are taking place and it keeps traffic moving through the screening location.

 

For more information or a free product demonstration, please don’t hesitate to reach out by phone: (631) 434-1370, email: info@zistos.com or website: www.zistos.com.  We look forward to hearing from you.

SHOT Show 2018 Recap

Zistos was recently at SHOT Show 2018 in Las Vegas where we showcased a broad selection of our reliable, field proven tactical surveillance video tools. For those of you who may have been unable to attend, we wanted to give a quick overview of what we showed so you don’t miss out!

Tactical Pole Camera Systems: Customization options offer a variety of poles ranging from 2’ to 40’ as well as IR, thermal, zoom, fixed focused, and color cameras in addition to a choice of our display options to complete a kit.

WalkAbout Display: Our body-worn, ruggedly built 5.6” LCD display powers any of our tactical cameras using a rechargeable battery and generates a clear, detailed video image.

The WatchAbout display can be used in conjunction with the WalkAbout, enabling other team members to receive and view the wireless tactical video on a small wrist-mounted video screen.

The Through-The-Wall System contains specially designed hand drill and cutting tools, cameras, display and audio module that allow visual and audio observation into an adjacent interior room through a sheetrock wall. This system is perfect for hostage barricade scenarios as well as explosive breaching.

Dual View Under Door Camera: This camera has a specially designed pole that keeps the operator of the camera out of the fatal funnel of the doorway. It has a forward facing camera to look into the room and an upward facing camera to view the backside of the door as well as audio listening capabilities.

Our Dual Mode Thermal Camera incorporates both a thermal camera and an IR illuminated B&W camera in one housing.  They can easily be switched between merely by using the illumination knob on the WalkAbout display. The thermal camera is great for location and the IR B&W mode is great for seeing a detailed image.

Portable Network Surveillance Camera (PNSC) is a highly compact, self-powered, wireless Pan Tilt Zoom (PTZ) camera that can be rapidly deployed anywhere! The entire system packs into one PelicanTM case and can transmit wireless, encrypted data to a command location, where the images can be viewed on a computer or tablet.

StealthSCOPE: This scope is a standalone compact videoscope that can covertly see 20ft into complete darkness due to its internal IR laser light source.  Its 9mm diameter and 4-way remote articulation makes it perfect for small openings and tight areas such as around corners, over walls, under doors and inside vents and ceilings.

For more information or a free product demonstration, please don’t hesitate to reach out by phone: (631) 434-1370, email: info@zistos.com or website: www.zistos.com.  We look forward to hearing from you.

Portable Network Surveillance Camera Interview

View Extended Version Here

The Zistos Portable Network Surveillance Camera provides encrypted, wireless IP-based video surveillance. It is a self-contained, battery-operated, wireless network camera in a single, rugged, weatherproof, carry case with wheels and handle for easy transportation. It includes a rechargeable battery, telescoping pole (up to 78″ high), and infrared camera that can be remotely controlled to pan, tilt and zoom (18x Optical). No external power or wires are needed for its operation and images can be viewable on a PC or laptop.  The system allows for up to 6 PNSCs in a circuit.

It can be rapidly deployed anywhere and the system can be set up in less than five minutes. The PNSC is suitable for a wide range of applications including surveillance, border security, disaster management, and industrial site safety/security.  The system also features a motion activation alarm that when movement occurs within an area of interest (say a front door) this alarm will go off on your laptop, alerting you to the motion.

There are three different base options for the PNSC and they include, WiFi, MESH and Cellular.  The WiFi based PNSC uses a basic WiFi connection and connects to a PC/Laptop display.

The MESH based system uses a dual band radio. It still uses a WiFi connection to outside devices but it also uses a secondary mesh based transmitter to communicate with the other camera systems in the network. This makes the network more robust and can correct for network camera transmission problems dynamically as they occur.

The cellular PNSC is the most intriguing of all.  This system can be accessed from anywhere there is a cellular signal.  For example, you could be in New York with the laptop and your PNSC set up could be in California and you could still control and see the video as if you were right next to it.

The PNSC can be a valuable tool for many first responder, security and tactical missions. The PNSC can increase situational awareness in a dynamic fashion. It can allow an operator to remotely view scenes in the field where no other security or infrastructure assets exist.

For more information, please don’t hesitate to reach out by phone: (631) 434-1370, email: info@zistos.com or website: www.zistos.com.  We look forward to hearing from you.

THC-51D – The New Dual Thermal Camera from Zistos

Zistos is introducing our new tactical surveillance camera, the THC-51D.  It’s a dual mode thermal camera which contains both a thermal imager and a low-light black & white IR Illuminated camera in the same 1.8” cylindrical housing.

The THC-51D camera is a second-generation product and is different than the previous THC-50D.  It is appreciably lower in cost, much smaller in size, has higher thermal image resolution and better low-light performance than its predecessor.

The THC-51D has another feature that is new to this generation of Dual Mode Thermals.  It is available with a built-in, high gain audio microphone that allows you to listen for very subtle sounds in the background.

Like all of our cameras, it is modular and can attach to any of our poles and displays. The THC-51D is also available in a new and complete pole camera system including an articulating pole and display.

The new Thermal Pole Camera System (WS-TPS-A9D), which features our THC-51D Dual Mode thermal camera, is an excellent tool for finding subjects that are trying to hide in attics, basements and crawl spaces. The camera is capable of seeing a subject’s body heat and can transition to the B/W IR illuminated mode to see the other details of the individual and the surrounding area.

The dual mode video capability allows us to have the best of both worlds in visual detection and threat assessment.

The new THC-51D and the Thermal Pole Camera System with the THC-51D as the integral component, joins the latest portfolio of products from Zistos that are interchangeable and can be used for tactical surveillance applications.  Such as our Under-the-Door camera, our IR illuminated zoom cameras, and our low-light IR fixed focus cameras.

Please watch the above short video for more details on this exciting new product. For more information, please don’t hesitate to reach out by phone: (631) 434-1370, email: info@zistos.com or website: www.zistos.com.  We look forward to hearing from you.