Military scientists working on thermal vision aid to virus control

PIYAL ADHIKARY/PAP/EPA

Scientists at Poland's Military University of Technology (WAT) are working with doctors on ways to use thermal cameras to monitor public places to identify people with raised temperatures as a means to help in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

The system's designers foresee that it will work in offices and ministries as well as in other workplaces, factories and even shopping centres. The so-called FACE-COV system uses thermal vision technology to automatically monitor public places and detect markers of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

The system will be made up of ultra-red cameras together with cameras working in the visual spectrum. The thermal camera will exactly measure the temperature of people who enter the building on the basis of a thermal image of a fragment of the face, taking into account various environmental factors. A further element is a thermometer which can be installed at the entrance to buildings.

"It is a contactless, remote system," explained Dr Mariusz Kastek of WAT's Opto-electronics Institute. "It's enough for the person to hold still for two or three seconds to get a reading. If the system states that the body temperature of a person is raised, that person will go to a very exact measuring system nearby." Those confirmed to have a raised temperature will be further tested for Covid-19, Kastek said.

He told PAP that a positive feature of the FACE-COV system is that it will be validated by the Military Institute of Medicine. The medical certificate gives 100-percent certainty that all measurements of human body temperature are conducted properly from the medical point of view.