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Proceedings Paper

Life-saving uncooled IR camera for use in firefighting applications
Author(s): Mel V. Bennett; Iain Matthews
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Paper Abstract

A recent description by a firefighter on the experience of entering a building that is on fire was to liken it to being blindfolded, then being lead to a maze and told there is a victim at the center which you have to recover. In simple terms, firefighters are totally blind and what they need are 'eyes' that can see in the dark and through dense smoke. The development of lightweight thermal cameras using uncooled IR staring arrays and a helmet mounted display has now given the firefighter the 'eyes' in such situations which means less time to achieve a rescue and enhanced personal safety for the firefighter. This paper gives details on the development of the uncooled array camera and how it's been configured to withstand the extreme temperature conditions encountered during a firefighting environment. Also, how the camera and display system have been designed to provide the firefighter with a helmet mounted configuration to enable total 'hands free' operation. This is followed by a description of the special tests required to prove that the complete system can survive in a fire environment and finally a short video which demonstrates how the system performs in real life situations.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 June 1996
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 2744, Infrared Technology and Applications XXII, (27 June 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.243495
Show Author Affiliations
Mel V. Bennett, GEC-Marconi Sensors Ltd. (United Kingdom)
Iain Matthews, Cairns and Brother UK Ltd. (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2744:
Infrared Technology and Applications XXII
Bjorn F. Andresen; Marija S. Scholl, Editor(s)

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