Historic Border Patrol Badge Artifact

The U.S. Border At Night, Part 7

FLIR cameras

FLIR — or Forward Looking Infra Red — cameras are sensitive to even longer wavelengths of light. They are exclusively used to monitor the border at night using flat bed trucks and huge permanent camera towers. Humans sense these longer wavelengths of light as heat.

Because a human is warm these cameras can see a human. They can also see the heat from a car engine or even the heat stored in a rock heated during the day by the sun.

These cameras are used only at night to see people or cars without letting anyone know they are being watched. The IR cameras discussed previoulsy emit light that can be seen by anyone else with an IR sensitve camera. This, can be incredibly bad.

These FLIR cameras cannot see through fog or rain or snow or a sand storm or even haze. Under these conditions they cannot see any better than you can with your own eyes.

In some instances they can see worse than you can. Remember, they look for heat and there isn’t much heat that gets through a snowstorm.

The cameras can see objects through the obscurant if the object is brighter than the obscurant. For example, they — just as you — can see brake lights of a distant car right through the fog. They are seeing those brake lihgts by the heat the brake light’s filament bulb emits.

These cameras are purchased in the extremely illusory hope that they will see in the dark and also under adverse conditions.

There are ways to evade these cameras. The standard U.S. Army fatigue uniform has some level of FLIR evasion cabability built into its fibers. There are stealth airplanes and they do a failry good job of hiding from these cameras. Stealth planes do it with microscopic beads called cenospheres which, when coatred with the right coating, can absorb heat and not let it escape to be seen fro a distance. These cenospheres also scatter the heat so that the FLIR camera sees a far lower energy signal. The energy is still there, it is jsut spread out all over.

U.S. Navy SEALS and others have creams that they can apply to exposed areas of their body which are filled with these tiny cenospheres and help them evade FLIR cameras.

There are dozens of simple ways to evade these cameras, but why tell everyone?

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