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Westpac Life Saver to trial Thales thermal scanner

written by australianaviation.com.au | June 12, 2012

Sydney’s Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Service will trial a new, highly sensitive thermal imaging camera supplied by Thales Australia.

Thales is supplying the Sophie camera free of charge for an initial six month trial, which will also include training for the service’s helicopter crews.

According to Thales, camera works by identifying body heat and is effective day and night, in a wide range of conditions. It has a high sensitivity to small differences in temperature, meaning people can be detected even after being in cold water for some time.

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“This generous donation will continue to grow our capacity as the only dedicated search and rescue helicopter in NSW,” said Westpac Life Saver CEO Stephen Leahy.

“Nearly half of all our search and rescue missions are at night and this technology will allow us to search more quickly and effectively.”

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