From helping to develop technologies that detect explosives and locate survivors in a collapsed building to video software that identifies criminals and high endurance building materials, NIST is working to keep people safe.
“In experimental fire research, some of the most compelling data you can get is the visual data from video and photography,” says Matt Hoehler, a research structural engineer at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, Maryland. “So we’re always trying to get closer to the fire.”
With a prototype camera system developed by Hoehler and his colleagues at NIST’s National Fire Research Laboratory (NFRL), he has succeeded not just in getting close to a fire, but inside it. So far, the system has captured mesmerizing 360-degree video from a burning room, a mock-up of a museum collection storage room, a kitchen fire and, most recently, a forest fire. The footage allows a viewer to immerse themselves in the scene and shift their gaze in any direction to look at different aspects of the fire.
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