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GM HUGHES, TEXAS INSTRUMENTS INTRODUCE NIGHT VISION SYSTEM TO HELP POLICE SEE IN THE DARK

 ST. LOUIS, Oct. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Criminals will no longer be able to count on the cover of darkness to cloak their activities due to a new product shown publicly for the first time here today during the International Association of Chiefs of Police convention by two of America's leading defense electronics firms.
 The new product, called the NIGHTSIGHT(TM) Thermal Vision System, is a night vision enhancement system developed jointly by GM Hughes Electronics and Texas Instruments (TI) and is based on infrared systems that enabled Allied Forces in the Persian Gulf War to claim, "we own the night."
 The heart of the system is an innovative infrared video camera based on a unique sensing technology developed in cooperation with the U.S. Army. Video from the camera is displayed on a head-up display or a television monitor located inside the police vehicle or attached to a portable camera.
 Infrared thermal imaging systems produce video pictures based on heat emitted by objects in the field of view. By measuring small differences in temperature among objects in the scene, the NIGHTSIGHT viewer produces a clear black and white television picture of people or other objects that would otherwise be invisible to human eyes in the dark.
 The system filters out all but the band of infrared energy that is most prominent with objects like animals, automobiles, and people. Unlike systems that amplify existing light, the NIGHTSIGHT vision enhancement system is capable of operating in bright light or total darkness. Its thermal image makes people and other animate objects stand out from their surroundings, even in cluttered or well-lighted areas where shadows often provide cover.
 In addition, the thermal image created by the NIGHTSIGHT imaging system can give patrol officers an added edge by revealing hidden information, such as which cars have been operated recently or by showing and locating objects discarded by suspects fleeing in the dark.
 During field testing with numerous departments in the United States and Canada, officers using the system were able to gather additional evidence at a crime scene that otherwise would have been invisible. In one case, constables in Ottawa, Ontario, were able to pick up the trail of fleeing break-in suspects by distinguishing the fresh footprints from a number of older footprints in the snow. In another, officers driving down a Dallas street were able to use the system to detect a concealed firearm being carried under clothing.
 "Our field studies have shown that the NIGHTSIGHT vision enhancement system can truly make a difference in the safety and effectiveness of night police work," said Stan Kummer, NIGHTSIGHT Thermal Vision System marketing manager for TI.
 "One senior officer reported the system is the best thing to come along in law enforcement since mobile data terminals in the early 1970s," added Stuart Klapper, NIGHTSIGHT Thermal Vision System program manager at the Electo-Optical Systems business unit of GMHE's Hughes Aircraft Co. subsidiary.
 The system is expected to be available for delivery to law enforcement agencies in the latter part of 1994. Price has not been determined.
 -0- 10/17/93
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: Law enforcement agencies participating in the demonstration program for the NIGHTSIGHT Thermal Vision System include: Dallas Police; Highland Park, Texas, Police; Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department (Harbormaster in Playa del Rey); Ottawa Police; Portland, Ore., Police; St. Louis County Police; and The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department./
 /CONTACT: Kearney Bothwell, 310-334-4997; or Roland Onorato, 508-699-3450/


CO: GM Hughes Electronics; Texas Instruments ST: Missouri IN: CPR SU: PDT

LM-LS -- LA001 -- 3099 10/17/93 15:00 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 17, 1993
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