Taking Night Time Surveillance to a New Level


April 18, 2005

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April 19, 2005 There is no room for error when dealing with the night-time surveillance of large areas such as property borders at ranges 800 meters and beyond, fence lines and large public works expanding over 15 acres. Gaps or weaknesses in any security framework, especially those designed for these types of wide area applications, could result in substantially reduced protection, with the potential for costly and irreversible damage. Ensuring the optimal performance of large area security systems under low-light conditions has been both difficult and cost prohibitive, until now … the ALS-20 line of infrared illuminators deliver high power levels of invisible illumination so that near-infrared capable CCD cameras can maintain a clear, sharp view of large areas at night.

Other night-time illumination technologies such as filtered-incandescent-based and LED-based illuminators require the use of many fixtures to achieve the same large area performance as the ALS-20 systems. These technologies are undesirable because of the substantial costs of installation as well as the ongoing maintenance and service they require. Because the ALS-20 systems are based on a highly efficient 810 nm solid-state laser diode, they deliver high output power and longer service life with greater MTBF than other technologies.

Because of a highly unique lens system, the ALS-20 produces evenly illuminated areas from edge-to-edge. Different models produce different beam patterns. For example, the most common model is offered with a horizontal beam angle of 20° and a vertical beam angle of 10°. Alternate beam angles are available between 10° and 80°, allowing users to optimize the illuminator to best suit their surveillance needs. Despite the fact that the ALS-20 is based on a high output laser, the use of patented optics and diffusers allows the unit to be classified as an eye safe Class 1 laser device for which exposure to the laser beam will not result in eye or bodily injury. As an eye safe device, the ALS-20 can be installed virtually anywhere.

“The ALS-20 is one the most efficient methods of ensuring that your night-time area surveillance requirements are fully satisfied,” said Jay Jones, Director of Night Vision Sales for Electrophysics. “With today’s homeland security focus, there is a significant concern over the surveillance of large industrial infrastructure facilities, including power plants, chemical plants and public areas such as dams and reservoirs. These areas must be kept under the most stringent and secure watch throughout the day and night. Integrating the ALS-20 illuminators into existing security systems will provide surveillance personnel the ability to essentially turn night into day and monitor large areas in the most covert manner possible.”

An important benefit of using the ALS-20 is that there is often no need to re-outfit existing surveillance systems once the installation is complete. When used in combination with CCD cameras that can see into the near-infrared spectral range, the ALS can effectively leverage existing CCTV Systems already in place.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, (Australia's largest Telco), (Australia's largest employment site),,, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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