Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®) News

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SwRI's Fire Technology Department adds multiple video streaming capabilities

San Antonio, Texas -- November 1, 2001 -- The Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®) Department of Fire Technology has added video services that allow clients to view real-time fire tests over a secure media website, enabling travel cost savings and convenience for clients. The video is also rendered simultaneously to high-quality digital format and saved to a streaming video server for reviewing.

This new service provides secure, customized access for viewing live testing and high-definition digital photographs over the Internet from anywhere in the world. The tests may be viewed by multiple parties when requested. 

"This is a tremendous cost saving to our clients," said Bill Bendele, a senior engineering technologist in the Department of Fire Technology. "This option can offset travel expenses because clients may now view the test from their own office. It also allows several people to view a test, which can be especially advantageous if staff members work in different offices or even different countries."

The videos are also archived to allow for later viewing.

"Archiving the videos provides an additional service to our clients who may wish to view a test at a later date," Bendele said. "The archived video can also be freeze-framed if a client wishes to discuss or study a portion of a test."

The Institute also offers thermal imaging video and multi-view video. Thermal imaging video noninvasively measures temperatures continuously during a test. For example, the Institute regularly uses thermal imaging video for telecommunications clients to document Network Equipment Building Systems (NEBS) fire-spread tests. 

Multi-view video displays test recordings, filmed from several angles, on either a split-screen or a quad-screen. SwRI has the option to display up to four different recordings at a time or to switch to one view at a time, much like changing a channel on a television.

"To better understand burning characteristics, we can also record video of a test from inside a furnace for an up-close, unique view," Bendele said. "The multi-view video display can be set up to show data, thermal imaging, the exposed view of the test sample, and the unexposed view of the test sample. There are very few, if any, other fire test facilities that currently offer this service."

For more information, visit Fire Technology, Digital Media Services at (, or contact Tracey  M.S. Whelan, Communications Department, Southwest Research Institute, P.O. Drawer 28510, San Antonio, Texas, 78228-0510, Phone (210) 522-2256, Fax (210) 522-3547.

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