Raytheon JPS yesterday introduced its partnership with Votan Research to globally market the DVU-1000, a new digital in-car video system with a solid-state architecture that is designed to provide greater picture quality and reliability than video systems typically used by law enforcement today.

Most public-safety entities that have in-car video systems store the data on VHS tapes, which can problematic for law enforcement, said Don Scott, vice president of business development for Raytheon JPS. Even if the camera captures a suspect in an incriminating act, the picture quality often is not clear enough to be used effectively as evidence in court.

“Most police departments deploy VHS recording systems today, which results in a very grainy picture—one that’s often blurry, one that doesn’t allow you to find the detail by zooming,” Scott said.

VHS-based and DVD-based systems also offer several practical challenges, Scott said. Moving parts mean that video quality can be compromised while the vehicle is moving, because bumps in the terrain can cause the recording device to “skip.” In addition, the video on a tape or disk that must be removed to be accessed and stored by headquarters—a task that must be done correctly to ensure that the video can be used in court.

“You’ve got to bond the people that handle them, because the main goal with that kind of evidence is that it not be tampered,” Scott said.

With Raytheon JPS DVU-1000 system, these issues are minimized. Using solid-state memory means there are no moving parts to cause video to skip, and it allows the technology to “operate without fans in the trunk of a car in Phoenix,” Scott said. Meanwhile, uploading the video is done via wireless connection, so no personnel physically handles the potential evidence.

The Calisto software created by Votan Research features compression algorithms that enables an hour of video to be uploaded via an 802.11 connection in less than a minute. More importantly, the video maintains the kind of quality necessary for use in a court of law, Scott said.

“[The DVU-1000] allow us to record at DVD quality—D-1 quality—that’s very, very high fidelity, as opposed to older technologies,” Scott said. “You can zoom and detect things that you may want to see in the frame.”