Terrain Scanning System (Oxylus)

The Oxylus terrain scanning system

The Oxylus system is a modern, powerful system designed to monitor large tracts of land for animal and human movement. It is primarily designed for the following roles:

· 360° surveillance

· 24-hour monitoring

· Accurate geo-locating of target objects

· Coordinating appropriate responses to threat/event detection

· Affordable use of sensitive sensors

· Low operational cost

· Ease of use

In many applications it is necessary to survey very large areas for human activity. When monitoring large areas such as reserves, borders or farm lands, it is difficult to cover the entire area with short range cameras or other detection systems. The Oxylus system uses long focal length cameras, a wide optical wavelength range as well as sophisticated control and analysis to monitor large tracts of land in an efficient way. The African environment where the technology is required, poses several problems that are not always addressed by systems developed elsewhere. There are few areas that have such a variety of environmental challenges, whether it is general wildlife, thick vegetation, a variety of unwanted visitors or simply the size of the area that needs to be scanned. The Oxylus system is designed to specifically address these problems.



Poaching in game reserves is very difficult to control. The main reason is the large areas that needs to be scanned to detect human behaviour. The threat can come from anywhere and it is not possible to have enough men on the ground to react to all threats.

Farm Protection

Farm protection is a complex issue as the threats can come over long distances and it is impractical to put short range sensing devices such as cameras to cover the entire area.

Mammal research

Knowing where animals move at all times, especially without the expense of human tracking, can be a major boost to animal research and management.

Other applications

· Border Control

· Mining Security

· Airport Security

· Wide Area Monitoring


Oxylus consists primarily of a thermal camera, supported by a high focal length daylight camera with or without illumination assist, for night time visibility. Using optical and mechanical controls, the system provides continuous monitoring of 360° from the camera location (or defined sectors) as well as pin-point spot monitoring of any identified location. 24/7 performance is provided by using the thermal or infrared camera sensor.

The cost of thermal sensors used to cover wide areas and long ranges is mostly prohibitively expensive for many applications. Oxylus solves this problem by using only one, very sensitive, camera on an intelligently controlled moveable platform. In this way a single camera can cover vast areas, reducing the cost of hardware. The primary objective is to determine human and animal presence in a given area. As the primary targets are relatively slow moving the system exploits the temporal and positional aspects of movement, and by fusing historical views with current views it provides a detailed observation of large spaces.

The system is available on a mobile platform configured for the terrain, or it can be statically mounted. Mobile systems have mast heights of up to 20m and can be deployed in areas where transgressions are expected, and moved around as the scenario changes.

The Oxylus system scans the environment in an intelligent pattern. The scanning pattern is executed as fast as the terrain allows. By using the very narrow focal length of the thermal camera to scan the long distances, while also being able to scan closer in areas, it is capable of scanning an entire area effectively. Although the standard setup can pick up humans within 2km of the tower, a stabilised platform with a higher end thermal camera can be used which allows for observation of human-sized objects at distances up to 10km away.

The system can also be equipped with a long range zoom camera to provide visual confirmation during daylight hours of any detected threat.

The continuous area monitoring improves the chances of finding obscured objects that move around in dense vegetation. At any given moment the target, and especially targets that want to remain hidden, can be obscured by vegetation which will makes detection using any optical method hard, but continuous monitoring will pick up those subjects that only emerge from time to time.

Any heat body detected in the thermal image is geo-located from the image coordinates to a location on earth. These points can be accurately mapped using a Digital Elevation Model, or where not available, a flat earth model. Continuous track monitoring allows the user to visually analyse tracks, or use sophisticated behavioural analyses tools to separate humans from animals. When a suspicious track is identified, an alarm can be raised so that the appropriate counter measures can be taken, depending on the resources available.

Oxylus provides a real solution to the detection of animals and humans. This detection allows for the recognition of threatening behaviour at a long range, so as to allow for rapid, accurate response to any perceived threat.