H-GOLETA

Apr 22, 2013 8:38 PM by Cameron Polom, KSBY News

Thermal cameras help catch Boston bomber

We've seen lots of pictures from Boston since the marathon bombings, but one led directly to the arrest of one of the suspects -- a picture using the latest in photo-technology.

For Dzhokhar Tsarnaev there was no way out.

"I think the police knew or had a strong suspicion that the individual was in the boat but couldn't visibly see him," said Bill Terre of FLIR.

For police, no way in to the boat where Tsarnaev was hiding, safely at least.

After a shootout the day before with the suspects, police weren't taking any chances.

"Using thermal technology in a helicopter, they were able to image the boat clearly and see right through the plastic and identify the fact that there was a person in the boat," said Terre.

Although obstructions such as the boat tarp can prevent light from passing through, heat waves are detectable.

The technology that was used was built in Goleta by a company called FLIR.

Teams of engineers and designers assemble cameras mountable on just about anything.

"The cameras are useful for securing our boarders, search and rescue clearly is another very common application," said Terre.

It's also used in the battle against maritime smuggling along the California coast.
Terre says knowing that his company helped bring an end to this latest tragedy brings a lot of pride to him and his team.

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