DB - Digital Battlespace

EO/IR Special Report: Border concerns driving Asia EO/IR market

12th February 2018 - 12:00 GMT | by Beth Stevenson in London

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Maritime and land border protection are key concerns the world over, although ongoing tensions between neighbouring nations in the Asia Pacific are expected to drive demand in this region over the coming decade.

From 2017 to 2027, the Asia Pacific region is expected to account for 41.5% of the international maritime and border security market, a December 2017 report dubbed Global Maritime and Border Security Market 2017-2027 claims, followed by North America and Europe that have common border challenges.

Increased tensions between North Korea and most nations in the region as well as ongoing disputes involving India, Pakistan, Japan and China, have resulted in sensor technologies being utilised more and more to provide greater coverage along disputed borders and maritime areas.

EO/IR is one such technology, and a number of developments are being rolled out to provide users with a much greater border surveillance advantage.

Short-wave infrared (SWIR) capability, for example, is becoming increasingly popular in the border surveillance market, due in part to its ability to detect objects in adverse weather conditions, so can be used for long durations.

‘The capability of the SWIR is a recent development, and we are seeing a lot of demand for it, particularly for the land and maritime systems, when large distances in difficult conditions need to be monitored,’ Nir Bar-Natan, marketing director at Controp, told Shephard

‘We see it in all of the tenders, and Controp has several solutions for that. The SWIR is becoming very popular.’

‘Our customers love the day channel because the image is clear, but when they look at the IR or SWIR…the edges are better, the distance to the target is better, and the data can be fused,’ Naveh Bahat, director of EO research and business for the Systems Missiles and Space Group of Israel Aerospace Industries’ (IAI) Tamam division, added.

Another requirement is upgrading the thermal cameras to HD, which is a common feature for day optics but not the IR.

‘HD in the day camera is relatively cheap, but an HD thermal camera is much more expensive, yet we are seeing customers more and more require this kind of capability,’ Bar-Natan said. ‘The main advantage is that you can have a wider field of view.’

Controp is also offering an EO sensor that can perform a panoramic scan, which compares images collected over a certain period of time as a radar would.  

‘This is something that is quite unique, and I think there are only two more companies that have this technology,’ he explained. ‘Because it is not transmitting anything like a radar does, it cannot be jammed, and this is good for keeping your location hidden.’

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