Vehicle-Mounted Thermal Cameras
Like a kid getting a new toy, most people are pretty floored when they get to see a thermal camera working its magic. Cutting through darkness, fog, dust, or vegetation, it’s hard to hide a heat signature when you’re looking through one of these cameras. But they’re not all strictly fun and games; they actually have a lot of utility in different situations. Here are just some of the multiple ways our customers use vehicle-mounted thermal cameras across many different lifestyles, from personal consumer purposes to professional scenarios.
Great Ways to Use Vehicle-Mounted Thermal Cameras
There are a lot of interesting ways to use vehicle-mounted thermal cameras, and some of them might not be as obvious to the average person. But in the right situation, having a thermal camera mounted on a vehicle can be a game-changer, both personally and professionally.
Avoiding Driving Accidents
Avoiding vehicle-wildlife collisions is one of the most popular uses we discuss for our products. By installing a thermal camera on your vehicle, you can more easily avoid collisions with deer at night. As you drive, you can keep a watchful eye for any animals hanging out on the side of the road – and if you live in a rural area, there are almost always animals on the side of the road. Much more importantly, you can see when they start to cross the road, and at much further distances by using their body heat versus your headlights alone (up to 1,800 feet beyond your headlights). If you can spot it far enough ahead, you have time to react and slow down, which should allow you to avoid an accident. Obviously, this applies to pedestrians, cyclers, or stopped vehicles too. Headlights don’t always do the best job showing you what’s ahead, especially if it’s foggy or rainy. A NightRide thermal camera can help you see further and cut through the obstacles so you can stay safe.
One of the most exciting uses for vehicle-mounted thermal cameras involves hunting. From varmint animals (e.g., skunks, raccoons, possums, etc.), feral hogs, predators (e.g., coyotes), or game retrieval, thermal cameras can be a great asset. Obviously, vehicle-mounted thermal cameras have some practical and legal limitations when it comes to hunting – you can’t locate and hunt deer at night or from a vehicle, nor is it always possible to drive a vehicle where you hunt. But within the legal framework of hunting regulations, you could scout for these animals from the comfort of your vehicle. For example, you could pull up at a good vantage point over a field and be able to spot these animals from up to ¼ mile away, even when the visibility isn’t great. That’s great intel for hunting purposes. Additionally, you could “scan” a field when you pull up to hunt in the morning, so you know how to avoid any animals already out in a food plot. Do you have a problem with trespassers on your property? You can capture a video of them crossing your field from a secure vantage point, to ensure they won’t come back. The Ranger thermal camera is a smaller, lightweight version that works great for individual consumers, as it won’t break the bank and offers a lot of the great functional features that bigger cameras do.
Farming or Ranching
When you’re trying to monitor your farm or ranch to keep tabs on livestock and keep predators at bay, having a thermal camera mounted on your vehicle is a great solution. You can patrol your farm roads and trails, scanning for any cattle that may have escaped through a broken fence section, or looking for predators that hope to take a calf or smaller animal. Because vehicle-mounted thermal cameras register body heat and temperature differences, you can often spot animals even when they’re hidden behind some trees, brush, or grass, or when it’s foggy, rainy, or snowy. Under cover of darkness, this would be impossible even with the best night vision technology, but it’s very possible with NightRide thermal cameras. Even on a pitch-black night, you can see when deer or hogs are sneaking into your fields to eat your crops and know where they’re coming from. You could post up at a good vantage point and watch when coyotes are making a move against your animals. When paired with a good thermal scope on a rifle, you could take care of your farm’s predator or pest problem very easily.
Law Enforcement and Security
By its very nature, law enforcement and security positions often involve searching for those who don’t want to be found. Thermal imaging technology can be very useful for this effort, as you can patrol in your squad car and spot someone on a pitch-black night trying to hide behind something without using your headlights. Some vehicle-mounted thermal cameras can pan and tilt remotely as well, so you can search a suspicious area thoroughly from inside your vehicle, knowing that there’s nowhere for them to hide. When trying to collect incriminating evidence, you could use our thermal cameras to capture videos of criminals in the act. If you need to patrol a property for security purposes at night and keep trespassers out, you could scan the area from your vehicle and see exactly where people are hiding. In fact, you’d likely have a better chance finding them with a thermal camera than if you were on foot walking around, so it’s more efficient and effective. Our Scout line of thermal cameras have panning and tilting capabilities and are ruggedly designed for professional use.
First Responders/Search and Rescue
As a firefighter, EMT, or search and rescue team member, you often enter dangerous situations, knowing that a life is potentially on the line. When every second counts, you can’t waste time. Vehicle-mounted thermal cameras can help you search for missing or unresponsive people in a variety of conditions. Whether it’s dark, foggy, smoky, dusty, rainy, snowy, or anything in between, a thermal camera can see through the conditions and show you a person’s body heat. NightRide thermal cameras are ruggedly built to withstand any weather and conditions, so you know it will work when an emergency situation arises. Some cameras also offer remote panning, done from the app on your phone, tablet, or laptop, which allows you 360o pan and tilt movement so you can stop somewhere and search the surrounding area thoroughly before moving on, which allows you to quickly cover a larger area. The NightRide Sentinel thermal cameras are a great choice for first responder situations.
While vehicle-mounted thermal cameras are a fun and addicting technology, they have many great uses that can make your personal or professional life easier and safer too. If you haven’t invested in these cameras for yourself or for your organizational fleet, you might want to consider them for all the reasons above.