Thermal imaging firm makes its debut at ASIS

Sept. 29, 2014
Sierra-Olympic Technologies brings unique offering to the marketplace

As price points for thermal imaging cameras have came down over the last several years, adoption of the technology in more mainstream commercial application has also risen. Subsequently, there have been a number of traditional camera manufacturers looking to capitalize on this price drop by releasing their own lines of thermal solutions. What the industry hasn’t seen, however, are new companies that specialize in developing thermal imaging devices entering the market, but that has changed at this year’s ASIS conference in Atlanta with the debut of Sierra-Olympic Technologies.

Based in Hood River, Ore., Sierra-Olympic is a division of Hood Technology Corporation and was originally founded as a sales representation firm for cooled infrared camera technologies developed by Amber, a Raytheon company. According to Charles Gilbert, who heads up business development for Sierra-Olympic, the company, as a result of some work they’ve done in the systems integration space, has developed an uncooled, longwave infrared (LWIR) chassis camera called the Vinden CZ.

Available in resolutions of 640x480 or 320x240, the Vinden CZ has a continuous zoom lens built onto it which, according to Gilbert, makes it a unique offering in the marketplace.

“The truth is not many companies, or any that I know of, have a single product that has that combination (LWIR and continuous zoom),” said Gilbert. “What we’ve done is put all of that together in one smooth package that is easy and convenient to integrate. People want to be able to zoom in and zoom out with their lens and thermal cameras just don’t offer that capability very often in a cheap, inexpensive longwave package.”

Gilbert added that another thing that makes the Vinden CZ special is it only has one user interface. “If you decide to go out and buy the components separately, you also have two different graphic user interfaces that you have to deal with,” explained Gilbert. “One graphical interface will allow you to zoom in and zoom out with the lens and then you have to change over to the other graphical interface to use any of the camera features. We have a single graphical user interface that controls everything in addition to the interface board which allows you to connect with standard connectors.”

Because the Vinden CZ is a chassis camera and doesn’t feature an environmental housing or anything along those lines, Gilbert said that Sierra-Olympic is looking to partner with surveillance camera manufacturers or other security companies that make their own products. “We’re offering a chassis to them so that they can wrap their own branding around it, put their own housing on it and control it with their own IP protocol,” said Gilbert.

Although Sierra-Olympic designed and built the Vinden CZ, the company is a distributor for several well-known infrared camera vendors such as DRS Technologies ans Sensors Unlimited. The company also provides systems integration services, predominantly for defense contractors and others working on projects in the critical infrastructure market.

For more information about Sierra-Olympic, visit their website or stop by booth #3961 during the show. 

About the Author

Joel Griffin | Editor-in-Chief,

Joel Griffin is the Editor-in-Chief of, a business-to-business news website published by Endeavor Business Media that covers all aspects of the physical security industry. Joel has covered the security industry since May 2008 when he first joined the site as assistant editor. Prior to SecurityInfoWatch, Joel worked as a staff reporter for two years at the Newton Citizen, a daily newspaper located in the suburban Atlanta city of Covington, Ga.