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Infrared helps keep thieves and fly-tippers at bay for major water utility
Infrared helps keep thieves and fly-tippers at bay for major water utility

A major water utility in the South of England is benefiting from protection during the vulnerable hours of darkness thanks to infrared illumination from Bosch. UF500 infrared illuminators form an integral part of the total security system at the site which covers several hundred acres. The system was designed and installed by Gardner Security. Darren Sheppard, Managing Director of Gardner Security explains: "The client was very specific about the quality of image they required and the levels of recognition they wanted to achieve," he says. "That's why the equipment we selected for this installation needed to be of the highest quality, to ensure high definition images in low and even no light conditions." The need for a new security system was driven by a number of factors, notably a growing trend of metal thefts in the region. Being such a large and dispersed site, the water utility was also plagued by fly tippers and was incurring significant expense for the disposal of other people's rubbish. Gardner Security won the tender due to "its clear and appropriate response" according to the utility's spokesman. Gardner proposed a solution that comprised 44 cameras, positioned at strategic points across the site and two ANPR cameras covering the site's front and rear automated gates. The cameras are supported by halogen bulb based UF500 infrared illuminators chosen, according to Darren, because they are the best on the market: "The UF500 illuminators are easy to install and flexible with a range of beam patterns and wavelengths which gives us plenty of options, and the choice of single or twin lamp operation power supply also helps with installation." The night-time image quality achieved has set a benchmark for performance, so much so that the customer is requesting the specified camera and illumination combination for all new installations.    Bosch infrared illumination protects a major water utility in the South of England during hours of darkness "From a client's point of view they are also inexpensive to run and maintain," Darren continues. "The lamps consume very little power and if someone throws a stone at them, the glass is inexpensive to replace." Bulbs can be replaced quickly and easily on site, significantly reducing system downtime. Intruders entering the site at night, trigger detectors that alert the cameras to their presence. Infrared, which is virtually undetectable to the human eye, illuminates the area enabling high definition monochrome surveillance images in total darkness, often before the intruder realises they are being watched. "Where multiple detectors are used the cameras automatically track an individual around the whole site," Darren adds. "The system sends video images to a 24-hour monitoring centre where the activity is observed and the appropriate action can be taken." The night-time surveillance capabilities of the system is expected to significantly reduce the cost of manned guarding. There is no doubt that water utility officials are pleased with the performance of their security system, to the extent that Gardner Security is now a preferred contractor which, a spokesman says, "is a testament in itself to the quality of the project undertaken."

Endangered species discovered in New Guinea with the help of Bosch AEGIS UFLED IR illuminators
Endangered species discovered in New Guinea with the help of Bosch AEGIS UFLED IR illuminators

Gordon Buchanan, a freelance cameraman who sometimes works for the BBC, claims Bosch's AEGIS UFLED infrared illuminators have revolutionised night-time filming.Lost Land of the Volcano is a three-part nature documentary series that follows a scientific expedition to the island of New Guinea. During filming an international team of scientists, cavers and wildlife filmmakers ventured deep into the heart of the remote tropical island of New Guinea to explore a giant extinct volcano - Mount Bosavi. The team lived deep in the rainforest and searched for rare and endangered species.Using Bosch's AEGIS illuminators, the team found a previously undiscovered species of cuscus in the crater, where it has developed in isolation from its other relatives, in time becoming a sub species of the silky cuscus family. Identified as it left its daytime hideout and went in search of food in the forest at night, the Bosavi cuscus - which looks like a small bear - is a marsupial that lives in trees, feeding on fruits and leaves.Having struggled for more than a decade using what he describes as ‘Frankenstein' like lighting contraptions ranging from rally car headlights and hunting spotlights, Gordon has welcomed the advances in infrared technology that enable him to capture broadcast quality night-time footage. "Every lighting method I have used up until recently has had a drawback - carrying heavy acid batteries on my back and only having two hours filming power being just one of them," he says. "Now the team is able to access more remote areas as transporting compact infrared units is no longer an issue. The battery packs last for several hours and are interchangeable with our cameras."Field of view was another issue for Gordon. Historically illuminators have provided an uneven blanket of light causing ‘hot spots' in the captured image but, as Gordon explains: "The AEGIS UFLED units give the most consistent covering of light of any I have trialled. The distance the infrared light travels is also second to none. Whenever I am planning a shoot, Bosch's IR units will be one of the first pieces of kit in my bag."