Best-in-class high-speed FLIR camera improves target visibility in long-range tracking and measurement applications

The FLIR RS8500 high-speed camera has been selected for integration into the NEOS optical tracking system from Nurjana Technologies.

Thanks to the camera’s superior resolution and measurement accuracy, the Italian system integrator can offer test range customers a solution to identify and track targets with the highest accuracy.

Based in Cagliari (Italy), Nurjana Technologies provides mission-critical engineering services and system integration for the aerospace and defense industries. The company has been successful in offering unique electro-optical systems for government test labs and military test range applications.

Automatic target identification and tracking

The latest addition to the company’s product portfolio is the NEOS (Nurjana Electro-Optical System), a complete hardware- and software-based system for realtime optical tracking in long-range, high-precision measurement applications. The system was designed to fuse data from multiple sensors, including optical payload, telemetry, radar, and ranging measurement data. The optical payload is customized and composed of a visible-light tracking camera, a radiometric thermal imaging camera, a visible-light measurement camera, and a high-speed camera. Near-realtime data fusion and computer vision are leveraged for detecting and tracking targets in the most demanding scenarios.

“A high-resolution thermal camera was essential for this type of application,” says Davide Piras, System Engineer at Nurjana Technologies. “A thermal camera does not only allow us to see targets in dark or adverse weather conditions, like cloudy weather or rain, but we were also looking for a high-speed, high-resolution thermal imaging solution that enabled us to see smaller objects at very long range.”

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NEOS is a complete hardware- and software-based system for real-time optical tracking in long-range, high-precision measurement applications

Clearest target with FLIR

The company was already familiar with Teledyne FLIR thermal imaging cameras and based on the team’s previous experiences on test ranges all over the world, it was a natural decision to involve FLIR in the development of the NEOS product as well. The FLIR RS8500 high-speed MWIR camera proved to be the best solution for the application.

“We looked extensively at different camera types, but the image quality, high-speed features, and many different integration and connection options of the FLIR RS8500 made it the ideal solution to improve target visibility within NEOS,” Piras explains.

Nurjana Technologies demonstrated the NEOS system and FLIR RS8500 at select firing test range facilities and centers of excellence for experimentation in the NATO domain. The demonstrations not only showed the FLIR camera’s impressive clarity and image quality but also its superiority to visual cameras in cloudy conditions.

“Thanks to the FLIR camera, we were able to overcome adverse weather conditions, improve target visibility with a clear identification of the target’s thermal signature, and see the target in almost any weather condition,” says Piras. “We are glad to have the chance to integrate such an extremely powerful camera into our solution.”

Demonstrations with the FLIR RS8500 showed the camera’s impressive clarity and image quality.

Test range applications

Nurjana Technologies also valued the straightforward integration using a GenICam protocol, which makes it easier for integrators and end customers to control the camera system over Linux. The NEOS system with the integrated FLIR camera is customizable and available for a wide range of automatic detection, recognition, identification and tracking applications, including bomb scoring, splash detection, impact point prediction, and accurate missile, projectile and rocket tracking. A downsized version of NEOS is available for civilian applications within the domains of critical infrastructure protection and monitoring.

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The FLIR RS8500 is a high-performance thermal camera and infrared telescope combined in a single weatherproof housing, designed for long-range tracking and measurement applications.

Since the FLIR RS8500 is a radiometric infrared camera and the continuous metric zoom lens provides instantaneous focal length and position information on every frame, the system can also be used to capture target data, including signature and apparent temperature measurements.

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