HAI Convention News

Helinet’s Cineflex to play for Fox in today’s Super Bowl

 - February 20, 2007, 3:53 AM

Cineflex (Booth No. 1644), the Helinet Aviation Services subsidiary that specializes in electromechanical motion control systems, made the trip to Heli-Expo this year to demonstrate its flagship product–the HiDEF gyro-stabilized aerial camera platform. Used primarily for television broadcasts, movie production and law enforcement, the Helinet/Cineflex system can steady an image through a zoom lens as long as 40X. Laying claim as the industry’s lightest gyro-stablized high-definition aerial camera, the HiDEF system uses Sony HDC-950 and HDC-F950 cameras.

Working for Fox
Recently deployed by the Las Vegas police department for aerial surveillance during New Year’s Eve, the system will go to work this Sunday for the Fox network during Super Bowl XXXIX. Network television stations in Denver, Phoenix and San Francisco all use the Helinet/Cineflex HiDEF for their electronic news gathering (ENG) operations.

The HiDEF aerial camera platform was deployed by the Las Vegas Metro Police Department to provide surveillance during the city’s New Year’s Eve celebration, when an estimated 300,000 revelers jammed the Strip.

According to Helinet Aviation Services, the system enabled the Las Vegas Police to survey the crowds with an unprecedented level of image detail. Mounted on a department helicopter, the camera system was the primary aerial surveillance tool, delivering an encrypted real-time video feed to a command center, where it was monitored by local law enforcement officers and officials from the Department of Homeland Security.

“We are pleased to have been able to assist the Las Vegas Police with one of their biggest security operations of the year,” said J.T. Alpaugh, Helinet chief technology officer. “Traditionally, law enforcement has been limited in their aerial surveillance operations by a lack of high quality images, especially at night.”

“Helinet provided us with an aerial view never before seen by this agency on New Year’s Eve,” said Sheriff Bill Young. “The imaging allowed our officers a view of the mass crowds and details on the Strip from as far away as a mile and a half. From a law enforcement standpoint, we couldn’t ask for a better tool on such an important night.”

In addition to the Las Vegas Police, Helinet is working with other local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to integrate its system into other airborne security operations, and it can provide a range of solutions to forces of different sizes–from a single-camera system mounted on an agency’s own helicopter to a complete package that includes helicopter, pilots and camera operators.