Like us on Facebook!





Company Blog

LUMISTAR INFRARED IMAGING NEWS

By Lumistar's Chief Scientist

February 15, 2016

First Aerial Infrared Footage of L.A. Natural Gas Leak

Thousands of residents from upscale community Porter Ranch, California, as suburb of Los Angeles, have been relocated after becoming sickened by nearby massive gas leak that began in October 2015. The natural gas well was originally an oil field but was quickly depleted over a 60 plus year span. In the 1970s, the land’s owners pumped in natural gas into the empty well to be stored and later used when prices were higher. As nearby residents began experiencing nausea, nosebleeds, dizziness, and headaches the utility provider SoCalGas allegedly informed local authorities 3 days after detection according to court documents. The residents were initially told they were feeling sick from the rotten-egg smell added to the natural gas which is used to alert customers when they have a gas leak in their home as natural gas is odorless, but it was further revealed that compounds that can cause cancer, for example benzene, were elevated beyond their legal limits. Residents and media took to using infrared cameras to show the dramatic effect of the gas leak, as well as to provide peace of mind when it is resolved. By adding a special filter and using a specific bandwidth of the infrared spectrum, infrared cameras can detect gases including natural gas in the atmosphere to be shown in the visible spectrum. The above video was taken with a special infrared camera from a helicopter showing what is invisible to the naked eye or traditional cameras. SoCalGas has been working on building a new relief well adjacent to the broken well to siphon the gas to a new receptacle, after which time the old well will be filled with mud and sealed with cement. The leak was stopped last week, but the families won’t start moving back to nearby homes until state authorities have certified that cement pumped into the well has permanently plugged it.

Update: On February 17, SoCalGas pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor charges stemming from the ruptured well in California that leaked for weeks. The complaint brought by the county district attorney includes three counts of failing to report the release of a hazardous material and one count of discharge of air contaminants. If convicted, the company could be fined up to $1,000 per day for air pollution violations and up to $25,000 for each of the three days it didn’t notify the state office of emergency services of the leak.





September 15, 2013

Thermal Imaging Allows ATM Theft From A Distance

Lumistar; ATM Keypad Thermal Imaging

Researchers have learned a new way thieves can steal ATM information – using thermal infrared cameras to reveal the user’s PIN. Traditionally thieves use an illegal card skimmer attached to an ATM in conjunction with a video camera. The researchers found using their thermal camera’s software it performed more accurately predicting one’s PIN, in chronological order in some cases, than humans in their study looking at video much like the thieves. Researchers detected PINs with approximately 80% accuracy 10 seconds after the person entered their PIN. Forty-five seconds after being pressed the thermal cameras were still able to determine PINs with a 60% accuracy. Non-thermal cameras used in ATM skimming attacks won’t get the job done if the target is blocking the view of the thieves’ hidden video camera using their forearm or hand, for example. Of course thermal cameras overcome this obstacle because its capturing an echo in time, capturing the person’s left over heat on the keys shortly after the target has left. Keep in mind this discovery also applies to other keypads such as access to secure office buildings and digital safes. One good piece of news the researchers found: while plastic PIN pads with rubber keys are a jackpot for potential thieves, on the other hand, metal PIN pads made thermal detection attacks almost impossible because they retain heat for only a few seconds due to their high conductivity. The researchers said one way to combat the heat transfer of plastic/rubber keys is to place your hand over the entire keyboard to warm all the keys – if you can handle the germs lol.

Lean More