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Teledyne Flir’s thermal imaging tech integrated with Ansys’ AVxcelerate suite...

10 Oct 2023

...and Flir Defense launches portable chemical detector for rapid narcotics analysis – including fentanyl.

Improving vehicle perception in all weather and lighting conditions is critical to reducing the record number of pedestrian fatalities in the United States and making autonomous vehicle (AV) systems safer. In June 2023, GHSA (the US Governors State Highway Association) projected that 7,508 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes in 2022 – the highest number of pedestrian fatalities since 1981.

One key to improving ADAS and AV systems is to integrate longwave infrared data within the existing suite of sensors on vehicles in development today. Thermal detection fills the gaps in perception capabilities and offers redundancy by working with visible cameras, radar, and LIDAR sensors.

To support the creation of more effective ADAS and AV systems, sensing, imaging, and camera manufacturer Teledyne Flir is collaborating with Ansys, a creator of engineering simulation software, to facilitate development with thermal imaging data to improve pedestrian automatic emergency braking systems.

The Ansys AVxcelerate Suite, now available with Thermal by Flir, is a new tool for perception systems designers to progress the integration of thermal imaging in ADAS and AV sensor stacks and to improve the accuracy of perception algorithms. Engineers can simulate millions of miles and difficult-to-produce scenarios where thermal cameras provide critical data – including detecting pedestrians in crowded and low-contrast environments such as fog or smoke.

Simplified data integration

AVxcelerate is complemented by Flir’s Prism AI, which can be used as a primary perception or reference software during in-house development. The suite of Prism AI tools provides simplified data integration with Teledyne Flir’s Conservator data lifecycle management software as well as what the partners are calling “the industry’s largest thermal-and-visible training dataset”.

“The Ansys AVxcelerate Suite represents another critical tool for perception engineers to convert thermal imaging data into life-saving technology,” said Mike Walters, VP, product management, Teledyne Flir. “Organizations ranging from academia to automotive OEMs now have a complete ecosystem from the virtual to the physical world to build life-saving thermal-enabled systems,” he said.

Flir launches portable detector for rapid narcotics analysis

Flir Defense has also announced the launch of the Griffin G510x portable chemical detector, specifically designed to analyze and identify explosives and narcotics, including fentanyl, during field operations. The new variant builds on the success of its popular G510 system and will allow first responders and law enforcement to confidently identify street drugs within five minutes.

The Griffin G510 platform is a portable gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer system used widely by domestic and international public safety teams to perform real-time in-field chemical threat confirmation. Modifications on the new G510x enable operators to identify trace amounts of narcotics in complex mixtures that are now the norm. Opioids such as fentanyl and the xylazine combination ‘tranq’ pose serious threats to users and emergency responders alike.

The G510x can spot as little as a two-percent fentanyl concentration mixed in a background of common pain relievers, while other systems might only detect the pain reliever.

“Fentanyl and other drugs have taken thousands of lives and devastated communities across America. The G510x gives federal and local law enforcement a powerful new tool to identify dangerous narcotics in the field and get them off our streets,” said Mark Blanco, VP Integrated Detection Systems at Flir Defense.

The G510x features on-board drug databases updated every three-to-six months that provide confirmatory analysis of more than 3,500 illicit drugs, metabolites, and other related compounds. A 230mm (9in) touch screen display guides user prompts and can be operated while wearing protective equipment.

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