Designed by engineers at the US Department of Energy’s Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL), and now to be exclusively commercialised by Baltimore, MD-based View Systems, Hazmat Cam is a lightweight wireless video camera system that is housed in a tough, waterproof flashlight body.
In use, the camera, which has already been purchased by several US National Guard Civil Support Teams and the US Army, can send back live images to a command post located up to several miles away.
INEEL Hazmat Cam designer Kevin Young spent the last year demonstrating the camera system across a range of field conditions. Perhaps none were so challenging as its recent use deep within a three-deck, 150-foot fishing boat in Puget Sound in Washington State.
‘It was like trying to send a signal from inside a steel box,’ said Young. ‘But the system was designed to be very flexible, allowing us to move a repeater antenna above deck and place the main receiver in an optimal location,’ he said.
This flexibility allowed Hazmat Cam to send live video from all three decks within the ship to a surface command post.
‘What makes this system unique is the combination of a triple antenna, true-diversity receiver, which delivers a clear picture, and the waterproof housing,’ said Young.
Other features include video encryption and a separate transmitter-and-receiver system called extension link that increases the line-of-sight operating range of Hazmat Cam up to five miles.
Hazmat Cam is the second INEEL technology that View Systems has licensed. The company also offers a concealed weapons detector called Secure Scan.