By Dr. Eyal Pinko
Whether you are a special operation operator, combat soldier, border policeman, law enforcement officer, firefighter, or search and rescue team member, you need to understand your surrounding clearly.
You will have to have a clear vision of your surroundings, during the day or during the night with total darkness conditions. In addition, you will have to have a clear picture of your environment during summer and winter, with clouds and heavy rain dropping; at the same time, you perform essential missions in saving lives and protecting your national security and country’s borders.
The hand-held portable systems are tactical devices used by operators to reveal and identify obstacles, targets, or any other individuals and subjects. The hand-held devices are designed to allow covert surveillance and increase vision capabilities under total darkness or rough vision conditions, based on day and night sensors. The hand-held devices are designed for personal use. They need to provide the user with a full visibility picture of the surroundings and an accurate geo-location of the user and his targets and objectives.
Hand-held thermal image devices are a key component of any large-scale ground forces, special forces, and law-enforcement agencies’ modernization program. For navigation missions, snippers, targeting, urban warfare scenarios, and open areas battlefield scenarios, hand–held thermal image devices are essential and even can determine the outcome of a mission and its success.
More than that, in the efforts to fight crime and protect civilians, law-enforcement agencies had come to the understanding that the use of a powerful flashlight is not sufficient to detect and track individuals in rough dark conditions. In those conditions, the use of hand-held thermal image devices is critical.
From a worldwide perspective, these are the reasons that in most of the modernization programs, the procurement of advanced hand-held thermal image devices is one of the main components.
Capabilities that should be taken into consideration when purchasing hand-held devices are:
- Day and night capabilities
- Infra-Red sensor resolution
- Wide Field of View (FoV) for both day and night sensors
- Operator high accuracy self-location capability, based on inertial navigation systems integrated with a Global Navigation System
- Augmented Reality capability, which brings the operator an interactive experience of a real-world environment where the objects that reside in the real world are enhanced by computer-generated perceptual information across multiple sensory modalities.
- Targeting capabilities: finding the target geo-location with high accuracy in day and night situations, using passive methods and active measures such as laser rangefinder.
- Three-dimensional orientation, an important function, especially for targeting applications.
- Wireless integration to command-and-control system enables the hand-held devices to work in a force network
- Working duration on batteries (without charging)
- Weight and dimensions (including batteries weight)
- Shock resistance
- Water resistance
- A wide spectrum of working temperatures (between -200C to +500C)
A unique and sophisticated hand-held thermal image device was introduced by Asio Technologies, one of the most advanced Israeli high-tech companies from the Homeland Security sector.
LYNX, is a micro-size multi-function hand-held thermal imager (HHTI) designed by Asio Technologies for the individual soldier, operative, and law-enforcement officer. The system has day and night sensors, integrated with highly powerful orientation sensors, complete situation awareness, and targeting capabilities.
An Android or Linux Core is integrated into the LYNX hand-held secure system, based on a powerful Quadcore ARM CPU. The advanced CPU makes the LYNX system an ideal platform for dedicated application design, system integration, command and control network integration, image processing, and analytics.
The system was designed to be fully versatile, enabling wide Filed-of-View (FOV) with both day and night sensors. In addition, a laser pointer is integrated with the LYNX system to achieve high-accuracy target pointing.
Recently, an advanced LYNX model came to operational capability – the LYNX SA. LYNX SA is a tactical range uncooled hand-held thermal image device for networked situation awareness and tactical Augmented Reality (AR).
The new model, LYNX SA, is incorporated onboard advanced Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU), a magnetic compass unit, and a multi-platform Global Navigation System (GNSS) receiver.
LYNX SA can integrate into a command and control system and use its sensors to generate an accurate augmentation of its host (such as the Asio Orion C4I system or other C4I systems). This integration of LYNX SA tactical elements into the command and control system enables LYNX systems to operate as a whole networked situation awareness system.
Additional to the LYNX SA, the LYNX FS, a short-range uncooled hand-held thermal image device for networked observation and fire support, was developed by Asio Technologies.
LYNX FS system has integrated with an onboard IMU, a magnetic compass unit, and a multi-platform GNSS receiver coupled to 4,000 meters LRF. The LYNX FS system uses its sensors to calculate positions of observed elements, generate an accurate augmentation of its host tactical elements, and work as a networked fire support system.
The LYNX family of hand-held thermal image systems is another innovative line of products from Asio Technologies, the Israeli high-tech company.
–The writer is a former commander served in the Israeli navy for 23 years. A PhD in Defense and Security Studies, he was a senior consultant at the Israeli National Cyber Directorate. He is a recipient of various Israeli awards including Prime Minister’s Decoration of Excellence. The views expressed are personal and do not necessarily reflect the views of Raksha Anirveda