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ATF Fire Research Lab Fires Up Omneon Spectrum Server

Video capture, storage, and playout enable analysis of burn scenarios for criminal investigations (June 06, 2005)

Omneon Video Networks today announced that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) is using an Omneon Spectrum media server system within the ATF Fire Research Lab (FRL) to capture video data during small- and full-scale arson reconstruction. The ATF's eight-channel Omneon system, brought online in January, facilitates multicamera recording of all fire tests and provides fast and flexible playback for immediate burn analysis.

Located within the National Laboratory Center in Beltsville, Md., the FRL conducts testing and analysis in support of fire investigations. The FRL also undertakes research that provides technical fire information for the fire investigation community. The lab, which is the only fire research lab in the world dedicated solely to criminal investigations, features several large burn rooms in which engineers can build structures as large as a two-story house, and then run and monitor a number of different fire scenarios.

One room may be burned 15 times, or multiple rooms burned with just a slight variance in the burn configuration. During each test, up to 2,000 data inputs are collected per second, and video gathered through various cameras is captured to the Omneon media server. Engineers on the test room floor are able to control both data and video through a proprietary interface.

Video ingest is a major part of the operation, and the Omneon server reduces ingest time dramatically, allowing researchers to record tests live and begin review before the burn has finished. Immediate access to video enables FRL researchers and engineers to apply what they have learned in one scenario to the next.

The Omneon Spectrum media server system accommodates DV and DVCPRO footage and will allow the facility to work with DVCPRO HD material in the future. Engineers use Final Cut Pro HD to edit material for presentation in court or for its growing library of research, typically preparing it on DVD as a final export product.

More information about Omneon products is available at

About the Fire Research Laboratory
The Fire Research Laboratory (FRL) is an innovative partnership among law enforcement, fire services, public safety agencies, academia, and the private sector that uses the most advanced scientific, technical, educational, and training methods to make ATF and its partners leaders in fire investigation science to serve and protect the public.

The goals of the laboratory are to conduct scientific research that validates fire scene indicators and improves fire scene reconstruction and fire evidence analysis; support fire investigations and the resolution of fire related crimes; develop improved investigative and prosecution procedures using scientifically validated methods that integrate the assets of ATF and its partners to enhance fire investigation personnel expertise; establish a central repository for fire investigative research data that will be disseminated throughout the fire investigation community; and develop an internationally recognized research and education center for the advancement of knowledge, technology transfer, and case support related to fire cause investigation and fire scene reconstruction.

More information is available online at

About Omneon
Omneon Video Networks is the leading provider of cost-effective and flexible networked standard (SD), high (HD) and mixed definition media server solutions for the broadcast and video industry. The company's unique strategy integrates a strong foundation in broadcast with the best practices of information technology -- giving its customers the best of both worlds. Because Omneon Spectrum media server systems are based on an open and advanced architecture, broadcast and video professionals are able to minimize both upfront and ongoing expenses, while gaining the flexibility to capitalize on emerging opportunities. Omneon pioneered the use of open systems in broadcast and, as a result, receives wide support from the application developer community.

Visit Omneon on the Web at


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Related Keywords:Omneon, Spectrum, ATF, Video capture, storage, playout, ingest, DVCPRO, DVCPRO HD, Final Cut Pro HD,


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