Frequently Asked Questions

Zoom with EO camera
When you put ultimate stability together with a real optical zoom, this is what you get!
........and here is what happens when you use the same power from a Cineflex MSII strapped temporarily to the deck of a small fishing boat. The orange vessel had no idea we were clearly reading the name.
IR Palettes
Monochrome - White Hot
Rainbow - White Hot
Video Blending
This is the means by which the HD image and the IR image are combined. It’s not a stepped process, one has complete control over the opacity between the two layers from 0 – 100%.
Using a blended IR image in the "Rainbow" palette the operator is not only able to more clearly see where the water flows away from the power station, but can also see how it cools along the way.
The operator has been more subtle in his use of blending in this image. All of the detail of the truck is seen from the EO image but the hot areas, the tyres, the engine and the exhaust, are additionally highlighted and overlaid from the IR image.
Picture in Picture
The operator has chosen to see the EO image in the main screen and the IR image separately in the Picture in Picture, or "PIP". The red box around the IR image indicates that he's currently controlling the settings of the IR sensor.
In this image the operator has simply reversed the positions of the IR and the EO, and is currently controlling the EO
Freeze Frame
When a camera operator and observer are working together it's sometimes convenient for the observer to freeze the main image whilst he notes, or more carefully examines, a fault in the powerline. While the main image is frozen the camera operator is able to continue looking for the next item of interest using the
With a database of assets already loaded (in this case power poles), finding the next subject is as easy as hitting "next", or looking at the associated mapping
system and touching the screen.
Here is an example of geo-pointing used in reverse. The camera operator has spotted a small fire. He uses the camera to establish the exact geographical co-ordinates, which are then transmitted immediately to the ground. Fire
authorities are thus able to send fire fighters straight to the spot to prevent a small fire becoming a large fire.
This is a very powerful piece of software, designed mainly for law enforcement, particularly in the pursuit role. A specific object on the ground, a car for example, can be bracketed on screen. The gimbal will automatically track that object and keep it in centre of frame. This can be useful in briefly releasing the camera operator from full attention at times of high cockpit workload.

The camera operator didn't have time to focus the main camera when he spotted the helicopter he wanted to track, but the Auto Tracker copes without blinking.
The small grey graticule defines the area of interest and the
Auto Tracker is successfully engaged, as indicated by the larger graticule turning green. In the bottom left is a picture-in-picture of the "area of interest" where separate contrast controls can be used to improve how the AT well the "sees" the target. Note how the AT is unaffected by zooming the main picture and by changing the main camera settings.
Auto Tracker particularly likes using the IR signature to keep the
target acquired. In this case a distant airliner is accurately tracked despite the operator making multiple changes to the IR sensor settings.
HD Digital Video Recorder and Frame Grab
A DVR allows one to record the moving image, either in SD or in a compressed version of HD, onto a manageable sized disc within the aircraft. It can be instantaneously accessed (without the need for tape shuttling), can record the resultant video into well organised separate files, and has a removable hard disc that can go straight to plug and play on a ground based PC. It is necessary to have a DVR in order to take advantage of the Frame Grab facility.

Click here to see more detail on each overlay function in a slide show.
Click here to see more detail on each overlay function in a slide show.


How do you find a person in a forest?
A powerful lens and an incredibly stable camera system (note how the trees are bending in the 50 knot winds) will get you a long way. However, the man highlighted in this picture is wearing green on a dull day in a green
forest!........ now the camera operator employs the power of the video blending and sets it to a level where it will highlight anything at or above the temperature of a warm human being. Suddenly the forest is lit with the green glow from the fugitive. Game over!
How stable is the MSII from a light fixed airwing?
Click on image to play video (quicktime plugin required).

This footage was taken from a fixed wing in turbulent 40
knot winds, from a height of 2,000'.
What detail can one see in EO from around 1,000ft?
... about 2mm

Click on image to play video (quicktime plugin required).
What detail can one see in IR from around 1,000ft?

Click on image to play video (quicktime plugin required).

See a cigarette butt discarded from this moving vehicle from a light fixedwing aircraft from a target distance of 1,000'.

How sensitive is the IR camera?
Click on image to play video (quicktime plugin required).

The answer is to within 0.2 degrees celsius.

Over long distances this will become less apparent, but in this IR clip Dan was playing around shooting his own leg. We were astounded at the results. Has he invented a new art form?
Surveillance - Vehicles
Reading a car registration plate from the air is the acid test for any aerial camera system. Here's what ours can do. (Give the video time to load, it's an 8Mb file!)
.......and here's how we use it when the vehicle is moving.
Note how the operator has improved the contrast seen just by the Auto Tracker in the small box in the lower left corner showing the AT "area of interest" . At top right the picture-in-picture is displaying the IR image. Although the shape of the car is constantly changing, as we move around it, the Auto Tracker is constantly updating itself with the most recent reference frame and thus has no difficulty in staying locked on to the target.
Surveillance - Aircraft
Not many of us ever get to see an F117 stealth fighter. With the power of a Cineflex camera system you can see it from many miles away.
Surveillance - Human Activity
Note how many of the useful functions of the MSII are combined to monitor activities in this yard of oil drums.
Animal Surveys
Not only can animals be readily found using Infra Red, but they can also be automatically counted by using connected software.
Just for a bit of fun, here's a man chasing a rabbit, as directed from a fixed wing flying 2,000' above.
Environmental Surveys
In this pool of water coming from a power station we can readily see the relative water temperatures. Various chemical compounds will also reveal themselves
to the MSII Infra Red sensor.
Still images such as this one can be "grabbed" from the MSII video. In this case the metadata overlay has been selected off in order to generate a clean image. However, the real power of the Cineflex MSII is illustrated in the examples
that follow.
Here we see the power of the IR sensor being put to good use from a fixed wing flying at 9,000' over a large wildfire. The EO image shows only a wall of smoke, but the blended IR sees right through it to the heart of the fire. The camera operator then "strokes" his cross-hairs along the fire front and this enables the associated Surveillance Mapping System to map the fire-front accurately and immediately. This update is then sent straight to the fire control room via microwave down-link allowing an immediate and precise response by the fire fighting assets.
There is virtually no smoke coming from this fire but the blended IR shows that there is still a great deal of heat coming from the fire beneath the forest canopy. Using this capability, unique to the MSII, the air attack controller is able to accurately direct the water bombing helicopter. The camera operator has deliberately increased the dominance of the IR over the EO picture in order to enhance the shape of the underground fire, but towards the end of this clip he reduces it to more normal levels, and then off to assess the smoke.
Despite being buffeted by the fire storm at 8,000' in a fixed wing the camera operator is easily able to define the hot parts of the scene by blending the IR and EO images together. In this instance he has chosen an IR palette that shows the hot spots in green
Search and Rescue
Infra red works particularly well in black and white when looking for live humans in the water. Get to them before their heat signature disappears!
Low Light
This image has not been enhanced. This is how the courtyard of an industrial site looks to the HD lens, just using ambient light. High Definition just loves to operate in low light and there are settings available to make it work in even darker circumstances. To call the EO a "daylight" sensor is no longer an applicable description.
Here the police officer is clearly seen in only the light from the car.

Powerline Patrols & Inspections
The combination of IR and EO images, in multiple combinations, make the MSII the new generation equipment for safe inspection of electricity assets.

Note the stability of the image and the powerful zoom capability, despite the obvious speed of the helicopter past this tower.