API Technologies Corp.'s Hawki video aiming device recently played a crucial role in the safe removal of an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) discovered underneath a car parked in Lancaster, Calif., according to the company.
One of the five teams from the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department's Arson Explosives Detail responded to the scene at around 10 p.m. on Sept. 23 and deployed their Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) robot equipped with the Hawki video aiming device.
In situations such as this, standard procedure involves the team rendering the IED safe with a disrupter from the robot. Accuracy of the shot is critical to the overall success and safety of the mission.
"One of our crews used a robot equipped with the Hawki aiming device to help us disrupt an IED under a vehicle," according to Det. Enrique Velazquez. "They were able to get the robot's gun under the vehicle and made a great shot on the device knocking it off the vehicle and completely disrupting it."
The Hawki video aiming device is attached to a disrupter and utilizes a camera and rangefinder to automatically place cross hairs on the robot operator's monitor. While approaching a target, the cross hairs adjust the aim point based on the range to the target to show the operator the true point of impact for their shot.
No calibration is required by the operator to account for the range to the target. The system also displays range-to-target in the upper left corner of the video image, helping the operator to continually judge distance during the mission. The Hawki video aiming device promotes a more accurate shot regardless of the distance from the explosive device.
"We are pleased that the L.A. Sheriff's Department was able to employ the Hawki video aiming device with such great success," according to Steve Pudles, CEO of API Defense USA. "Through robotic and computer technology we have greatly reduced the need to put a human at risk in an IED situation."
The Hawki attaches to most Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) disrupter barrels or shotguns in use. There are now more than 4,000 barrels being used by EOD squads in the U.S.