Thermal imaging is widely used in a number of applications involving surveillance and security. The CCD cameras, due to their underlying technology, require ambient light in order to operate properly, thus limiting or even forbidding their application under conditions of limited or no optical visibility (night, fog, smoke etc).

Thermal cameras are used to close this gap, as they can operate efficiently both during daytime and night, without any requirement for ambient light and under any atmospheric conditions.

Nevertheless, due to the different operating principles of thermal imaging, the image provided is not in the form provided by the day cameras: what is depicted is only the thermal profile of the objects within the field of view. This fact increases the difficulty for inexperienced users to identify and locate events of interest, especially over long observation distances. It should be noted that, according to studies, 50% of the timely detection of suspicious events using thermal imaging equipment depends on the user experience. So far, the relevant user training takes place in real field conditions, during whatever environmental conditions may be present at the time, and with a cost-constrained scenario.

The PICTUM project comes to at least partially fulfill this gap, aiming to the development of an innovative thermal imaging simulation software for educational purposes in outdoor and indoor surveillance, employing adjustable environmental and lighting conditions, by immersing the trainees in a Virtual Reality (VR) environment. For this purpose, 3D imaging of virtual objects will be created based on the thermal coefficients and properties of static and dynamic objects of interest, 3D volumetric performance of thermal models, multimodal surface/volume modeling, simulation and visualization data and motion performance in the virtual environment. The final system will allow the dynamic interaction of the trainee with the virtual objects and of the trainer with the content of the training scenarios in real time.

This blog will be used to keep the interested audience updated regarding the progress of the project. Stay tuned…