Vanguard Magazine

Aug/Sept 2014

Preserving capacity, General Tom Lawson, Chief of the Defence Staff, Keys to Canadian SAR

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 7 of 47

making your isr product better Remember the old BASF commercials? "We don't make a lot of the products you buy. We make a lot of the products you buy better." It's a trademarked phrase, of course, but it captures the way Craig Powell sees Haivision. "You don't know us but we are in everything you do," he says. Powell is the executive director of global ISR business development for the Montreal company, which has customers worldwide. But he usually has to begin conversations in Canada by explaining what they do. If you provide or operate an ISR platform – air, land or sea – chances are it has a small Haivision box embedded in it. "We're the glue of ISR," he says. "Cameras can be cameras on their own, radios can be radios on their own, mission systems can be mission systems on their own. You have to have that [box] to bring it all together." When President Obama and his national security team watched the op- eration to capture of Osama bin Laden, the encoded video was streamed through a Haivision product. (It is also the encoder for all video streaming into NFL headquarters on any given Sunday afternoon.) So it's not surpris- ing that its largest customer is U.S. Special Operations Command. In a nutshell, Haivision's products encode and decode video data, com- pressing it from gigabytes down to megabytes per second for transmis- sion. "A FLIR Star SAFIRE high defi nition camera, for example, is generating 1.5 gigabytes per second. It's also streaming out metadata: heading, direction, altitude, line of sight. That comes out of the camera, hits our box, we com- press it down to a tiny pipeline and at the same time we multiplex that metadata, synchronized to each frame. When it...hits the decoder in a mis- sion management system, the decoder grabs the metadata and populates the map and grabs the video and displays it on the screen," Powell said. Though the company has garnered a reputation with special forces – CANSOFCOM is also a customer – and it has sold into ships and manned and unmanned aircraft, Haivision is setting its sights on land vehicles. special treatment: nea carves arms niche Much as the Canadian Army runs on its Light Armoured Vehicles, it shoots with its Colt C7 rifl e. So if you want to get noticed in such a well-established marketplace, you need a niche. North Eastern Arms of Orillia, Ontario, has carved out a space with its twist on gun barrel and bolt carrier treatments and its suppressors. "We didn't reinvent the wheel by any means," said vice-president Steve Huk during a demonstration at RAMPART in May, "but we put our spin on it." NEA applies a proprietary nitrocarburized treatment to the steel that of- fers two benefi ts over more traditional coatings. First, it is anti-corrosive, a fact that has made it attractive to law enforcement and security services working in maritime environments such as anti-piracy. "We've done exten- sive testing with salt baths and things like that and it will not rust or cor- rode," Huk said. "And it is very easy to clean." Second, the treatment also increases longevity. NEA has rifl es with bar- rel counts between 30,000 and 40,000 rounds with no deterioration in accuracy. Huk said many manufacturers adhere to traditional military specifi ca- tions because "that's what they're asked to do." As a small Canadian com- pany, NEA has had the fl exibility to exceed the 50-year-old mil-specs while building an international customer base. "This product just didn't exist. There was nothing that was non-ITAR, made in North America, and mass produced." The company has also found a market for its suppressors, which can be used in training or operations with a range of ammunition. "Our value proposition is that the biggest health and safety claim in law enforcement is hearing loss. For a couple of hundred bucks, you can put one of these on the end of your rifl e, and you're going to signifi cantly reduce the sound. The more we preach that story, the more we get requests for demos." With the ability to reduce sound by 50 to 80 decibels, suppressors are becoming more important as countries, especially in Europe, make noise reduction mandatory. "By law in some countries, you have to own one to shoot a rifl e. New Zealand has made it mandatory." NEA is still building its brand, primarily through trade shows, but it has seen steady year-over-year growth as it introduces more calibres to its selection. It might not challenge for space in the "green army" anytime soon, but it is fi nding plenty of interest in special forces and else- where. i iNSiDE indUSTRy 8 AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2014 "The LAV UP has a requirement to take the gunners and commanders video and format it into an IP stream that can be either moved [within the LAV]... or back to a commander," said Powell, who served 13 years with the Cana- dian Army. As to why the company isn't better known in Canada, despite its pres- ence in so many systems, Powell says the ISR environment is just starting catch up with the U.S. "As a military, we are growing that piece and Haivi- sion is trying to grow with it."

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

view archives of Vanguard Magazine - Aug/Sept 2014