Belgian Federal Police Capture Bird’s Eye View of the City with Ki Pro Mini
June 19, 2012
From pursuing criminal suspects to searching for missing persons and assisting with traffic collisions, the Belgian Federal Police Air Support Unit (DAFA) patrols the country from a bird's eye view each day. As a part of its daily routine, DAFA operates four McDonnell Douglas Helicopters equipped with Ki Pro Mini tapeless recording devices - capturing footage for special operations, public order, judicial inquiries and environmental control.
DAFA recently installed new HD gyrostabilized camera units from Zeiss Optronics (South African Branch) in its helicopter fleet. Commander Jeroen Eeckelaers and Chief Tactical Flight Officer (TFO) Patrick Van Hemelrijck seized this opportunity to transition the team's on-board digital video recorders from SD to HD. They enlisted help from Belgian Reseller FORMAT C, who conducted extensive research on available market solutions and presented them to the team. After evaluating a plethora of recording device options, a group of DAFA operators, pilots and commanding officers ultimately chose AJA's Ki Pro Mini portable tapeless recorder.
"In our line of work a reliable, high-definition recording device is absolutely essential because our video footage is often used as judicial evidence. After looking at all of our options, Ki Pro Mini seemed like the perfect fit - meeting our stringent technical requirements and tight budget - so we decided to put it to the test," Eeckelaers shared.
The Air Support Unit and FORMAT C rigorously tested different components of the Ki Pro Mini in flight - including the quality and variety of recording options, duration of recording on solid state memory, tactile feel of the buttons, small form factor, weight, power needs and Apple ProRes workflow - which all yielded positive results.
Eeckelaers said, "The Ki Pro Mini is everything we could ask for in a recording device - affordable, lightweight, compact enough to fit in our cockpits. We can also easily handle and transfer aerial footage for post production with its CompactFlash (CF) card support."
DAFA installed four Ki Pro Mini recorders in four of its helicopters and a fifth back-up unit in the video station on the ground. During flight operations, the recorders are utilized to capture HD video signals generated by external helicopter cameras. Depending on the duration and type of mission, as well as the destination of the footage, the resolutions and compressions vary. Ki Pro offers support for various levels of Apple ProRes including Proxy, LT, and HQ as well as the option to use Avid DNxHD codecs. Footage is either delivered live to the police, judicial units, Special Forces, the environmental department or civil protection and the recorded video acts as a backup for further analysis, or the footage is edited and delivered via DVD.
"Once the correct settings are established and controlled by the system operator, Ki Pro Mini is easy for any of our team members to learn and use. We've seen a real operational gain with the units," he concluded.About AJA Ki Pro Mini
AJA Ki Pro Mini is a miniature field recorder for creating ready-to-edit professional digital video. It supports an Apple file-based workflow by recording standard Apple ProRes 422 QuickTime files on industry standard Compact Flash (CF) media. Within its portable and rugged form factor, Ki Pro Mini offers broadcast quality SD/HD digital I/O including SDI, HD-SDI and HDMI, two channels of balanced analog audio input (2 XLRs) with switch selectable line/mic levels, and LTC timecode input. Ki Pro Mini is available now via AJA's network of resellers worldwide.About AJA Video Systems, Inc.
Since 1993, AJA Video has been a leading manufacturer of high-quality and cost-effective digital video interface, conversion, acquisition and desktop solutions supporting the professional broadcast and post- production markets. With headquarters in Grass Valley, California, AJA maintains an extensive sales channel of dealers and systems integrators around the world. For further information visit www.aja.com.