Cooled Thermal vs Visible Long-Range Overlay
An overlay comparison showing the differences between thermal and visible imaging at night.
Thermal imaging excels at detecting targets that are warmer than their environment, as is shown in the areas circled on the video. It is also unaffected by bright lights at night. One disadvantage to thermal, however is not being able to read visible printed information like signage and vehicle/vessel identifiers, as you can see in the video. This is why we design most of our cameras as multi-sensor systems with both thermal and visible imaging, so that the user gets the advantages of both imaging formats.
Note that the people on the cargo ship are 4km from the camera position, there is also another ship in front that is closer to the camera (roughly 3–3.5km away).