Check-in areas at airports can be dangerous, especially for children who may sneak through the rubber flaps into the baggage belt conveyor system. The many moving parts and conveyor belts in the baggage distribution system can cause serious injuries.
The thermal imaging safety system at the Sabiha Gökçen Airport in Istanbul, Turkey shuts down the conveyor belts the moment anyone enters the baggage handling area.
The safety system consists of four FLIR A310 thermal imaging cameras, each covering two conveyor belts leading from the check-in area to the baggage handling system. Four regions of interest (ROIs) are defined for each camera with the temperature threshold determined at around 31ºC.
At least 20% of the area in the thermal image defined as an ROI needs to be above the threshold for the alarm to go off. When the alarm is set off, the thermal image is instantly displayed in the control room and also automatically emailed to airport officials, enabling them to quickly determine whether it was caused by a person or a piece of baggage.
If the situation involves a child, the officials can quickly take steps to bring them to safety, explains Kaan Türkmen, who is responsible for the airport’s baggage handling system. In the event of a false alarm caused by an exceptionally warm piece of baggage, the conveyor belts can be put back into operation in no time, resulting in only minimal delays.
A number of tests have been performed by employees to simulate the situation of a child climbing into the baggage system with the conveyor belt stopping every time. The false alarms caused in the beginning by warm baggage were sorted out by modifying the settings accordingly.
The FLIR A310 thermal imaging cameras were installed after testing several other technologies that did not deliver the desired outcomes. No other sensor could accurately distinguish between a child and a piece of baggage, making the system ineffective.
Thermal imaging technology was recommended by an airport technician who knew that portable thermal imaging cameras were being used for predictive maintenance inspections.
The FLIR A310 thermal imaging cameras provided by local FLIR Systems distributor, Sentez delivered high quality thermal images and accurate temperature readings, enabling them to correctly detect the body warmth of a human entering the baggage handling area through the conveyor belt, while keeping the unwanted alarm rate low.
Key features of FLIR A310 thermal imaging cameras:
- Uncooled microbolometer detector produces thermal imaging with a resolution of 320 x 240 pixels at a thermal sensitivity of 50 mK
- Impressive thermal image quality
- Wide angle lens allows two conveyor belts to be monitored with one camera
- Digital outputs allow the system to automatically shut down the conveyor belt if an alarm is triggered
- FLIR IR Monitor software allows settings to be fine-tuned to reduce unwanted alarms without compromising detection performance
Thermal imaging cameras are available in Australia from FLIR Systems Australia .