High capacity digital recorders are available primarily for special applications. These devices provide both processing power and multi-channel recording capability. These systems use either of two types of media: hard disk drives and solid-state memory (flash). Hard Disk Drive (HDD) based devices currently offer virtually unlimited online memory capacity, but this type of storage media is vulnerable to high G shocks encountered during vehicle movement over rough terrain. Vibrations, dust, heat and humidity also affect the reliability of HDD based systems. Solid-state memory is used for applications where systems are exposed to extreme environmental conditions. Systems that use solid-state memory are usually more expensive and have more limited capacity, but modern technology enables operators to use field replaceable cartridges, which can hold as much as 128 GB of data each, therefore offering nearly unlimited storage capacity.
One typical lightweight Digital Video Recorder is offered by Tactronics. This DVR can store up to 26 hours of full motion video on a 60 GB 2.5″ hard disk. It can be mounted on aircraft, naval platforms or AFVs, connecting directly to the video source (weapon’s sight, surveillance equipment etc.). This system uses removable recording media to transfer files to an associated docking station for review.
The ‘Mission Witness’ is a typical solid-state recorder recently introduced by RADA Electronic Systems for field applications. RADA is offering the system, which is a derivative of its avionic Net-Centric Digital Recorder (NCDR), to support video capture from vehicular military platforms. The system uses solid-state memory and has no moving parts, thus offering very high resistance to shock and vibration damage. Its built-in processor can be used as a network server that offers shared memory for other systems on board. RADA recently demonstrated this system in a RAFAEL built “Interceptor” armored patrol vehicle based on the armored Humvee.
NCDR was integrated with the patrol vehicle’s remotely controlled weapon station and acoustic gunshot detector. ‘Mission Witness’ can record up to 11 channels simultaneously, including six video channels, two voice channels and three data channels. It can also monitor and record all vehicle and weapons employment details. These recorders can be integrated in combat vehicles to augment and enhance their operability, for training, and for post-mission debriefing.
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