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Low cost thermal imaging for law enforcement applications.

L-3 Communications : 16 October, 2007  (New Product)
L-3 Communications releases low cost thermal eye X-50 thermal imaging camera for human detection at night time without the disadvantages of night vision technology.
Though once considered to be too expensive for most law enforcement budgets, thermal imaging technology is now within reach as L-3 Communications has provided a clearer path to obtaining this technology by pricing its new Thermal-Eye X-50 camera under $5,000. This powerful, compact thermal imager sees the heat emitted from objects, making it impossible for pursued subjects to hide between vehicles or stay elusive in the deep woods. Since criminals cannot hide their heat, law enforcers maintain the upper-hand, without blowing the unit's budget.
"The Thermal-Eye X-50's $4,995 price tag has never been seen before on a camera with the capabilities that we've put into the X-50," Richard Darlow, president of L-3 Communications Infrared Products, said. "The fact that L-3 is able to make this technology more affordable and as a result more available - particularly to groups who are often working to ensure everyone's safety - is a tremendous achievement."

In addition to being more affordable, the Thermal-Eye X-50 weighs only 13 ounces and stows easily in a pocket, making it possible to access the device quickly in the field or on the run. Unlike traditional night vision technology, the X-50 is not affected by the bright lights (which cause a "blooming" effect on night vision), glare or shadows. The X-50 can detect human activity from more than 300 meters away in total darkness. These characteristics make it ideal for helping users survey an entire scene safely without exposing the location of law enforcement officers or crime scene investigators.

Simple to operate, the X-50 can be used to great effect in fugitive pursuit, search & rescue, disturbed-surface assessment, target location, force protection and routine patrols. The camera offers variable display brightness and has a rugged design that will withstand a 6-foot drop onto concrete or underwater submersion up to 9 feet. Developed with advanced amorphous silicon microbolometer technology, the X-50 can operate for two hours using only two commercially available AA batteries.

"As L-3 continues to move forward with advanced technology that is more affordable - which is the case with the X-50 - thermal imaging devices will become more available," Darlow said. "My teams are gearing up to make hand-held thermal imagers as ubiquitous as the flashlight!"
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