A 16x16 element un-cooled pyroelectric detector array has been developed which, when allied with advanced tracking and detection algorithms, has created a universal detector with multiple applications. Low-cost manufacturing techniques are used to fabricate a hybrid detector, intended for economic use in commercial markets. The detector has found extensive application in accurate people counting, detection, tracking, secure area protection, directional sensing and area violation; topics which are all pertinent to the provision of Homeland Security. The detection and tracking algorithms have, when allied with interpolation techniques, allowed a performance much higher than might be expected from a 16x16 array. This paper reviews the technology, with particular attention to the array structure, algorithms and interpolation techniques and outlines its application in a number of challenging market areas.
Viewed from above, moving people are seen as 'hot blobs' moving through the field of view of the detector; background clutter or stationary objects are not seen and the detector works irrespective of lighting or environmental conditions. Advanced algorithms detect the people and extract size, shape, direction and velocity vectors allowing the number of people to be detected and their trajectories of motion to be tracked. Provision of virtual lines in the scene allows bi-directional counting of people flowing in and out of an entrance or area. Definition of a virtual closed area in the scene allows counting of the presence of stationary people within a defined area.
Definition of 'counting lines' allows the counting of people, the ability to augment access control devices by confirming a 'one swipe one entry' judgement and analysis of the flow and destination of moving people. For example, passing the 'wrong way' up a denied passageway can be detected. Counting stationary people within a 'defined area' allows the behaviour and size of groups of stationary people to be analysed and counted, an alarm condition can also be generated when people stray into such areas.