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Project on 3D Thermal RGB Mapping for Firefighting Robots Wins DRS Technologies Competition

DRS Technologies Inc., a Finmeccanica Company, announced the winners of its second annual Student Infrared Imaging Competition, a contest that allows students to showcase their innovative ideas using thermal imaging technologies. The awards ceremony was held at the DRS facilities in Melbourne, Florida.

The winners for the “Best Overall Project” were, Will Warren, Daniel Yang and Yuncong Chen, students from the University of California San Diego for their "3D Thermal RGB Mapping for Firefighting Robots" project. The team received the $10,000 grand prize for its winning project.

Students from the University of Memphis took second place with their project, "Forgery-proof Identification Using Sweat Gland Distribution.” The team received a $2,000 prize.

The judges awarded third place to a team from the Missouri University of Science and Technology for its entry of a “New Method to Identify Counterfeit Products Using Infrared Cameras," earning them a $1,000 prize.

DRS Technologies’ Chief Operating Officer, Terry Murphy reflected on the momentum of the program as he presided over the awards ceremony. “We are encouraged by the growth of this competition,” said Murphy. “From an engineering perspective, we’ve seen progressively advanced applications of infrared imaging. The technical caliber of the entries for ‘Best Overall Project’ was remarkable. However, we are also enthusiastic about the addition of the ‘Most Viral Video’ category to the competition that inspired an artistic adaptation of thermal sensing and imaging technology. These new interpretations should serve to further extend the knowledge base for infrared applications to a larger audience.”

Select students at participating universities were provided with Tamarisk®320 thermal imaging cameras, from the Network and Imaging Systems division of DRS, with the objective being to develop projects that portray the most innovative use of infrared imaging.

This year marked a new category of competition with the “Most Viral Video” which pits teams against each other to create the most buzz on the Internet for their project.

The winner of the $5,000 prize for the new category of the “Most Viral Video” was awarded to “Infrared Flows” from Max Junda of the University of Toledo. Junda’s video was a cinematic adaptation of the Tamarisk®320 thermal imaging camera as an artistic medium, capturing unique heat signatures of fluids as they passed through a hand-carved sculpture.

Network and Imaging System’s President, Mike Sarrica was on hand to present each of the four winning teams with their awards and prize money. “We are most grateful to all of this year’s Student Infrared Imaging Competition participants. Their hard work and ingenuity made SIIC 2013 a tremendous success,” Sarrica said.

“DRS Network and Imaging Systems Principal Scientist, Dr. George Skidmore has done an excellent job of engaging faculty advisors and department heads from universities across the nation with the objective to excite young minds about the possibilities of thermal imaging and their role in its development. We at DRS are extremely proud to offer recognition to these students and we look forward to the evolution of these ideas and concepts in the coming years,” Sarrica continued.

To learn more about the DRS Technologies Student Infrared Imaging Competition and see video and pictures of this year’s winners and their projects, visit


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