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Army IR Cameras Check Temperatures At Pentagon « Breaking Defense

Army photo

Using a modified thermal sensor to check a visitor’s temperature for fever.

WASHINGTON: Pentagon security has been using thermal cameras on tripods to check temperatures at the building’s Visitor Center since April 22nd, the Army’s Rapid Equipping Force announced today.

The REF, famous for fielding defenses against roadside bombs in Afghanistan and Iraq, worked with the Army’s C5ISR Center lab and Program Executive Officer – Soldier to convert infrared targeting sensors into hands-off thermometers to combat the COVID-19 coronavirus. The Pentagon Force Protection Agency wants to set up more of the sensors at other points around the massive headquarters, including the entrance to the Washington Metro subway system.

The system was first deployed at Fort Belvoir, just south of Washington, D.C., which hosts PEO-Soldier’s headquarters. Further deployments are planned around the D.C. area, at Army training centers, and US Army North HQ in Houston.

As we’ve already reported, the Army’s also modified its prototype IVAS targeting goggles to check for elevated temperatures. Today’s release says that “thousands of people” at Fort Benning, Ga. have now been scanned with this Thermal Imaging for Fever Screening (TIFS) system. A similar TIFS capability has been also added to the FWS-I, a sophisticated targeting scope that goes on soldiers’ rifles.

Thermal sensors are widely available, especially in the military, but they have distinct limits as public health tools. That’s especially true with COVID-19, most of whose carriers are asymptomatic, with no cough or fever, even as they remain contagious. The Army is also urgently fielding COVID-19 tests to training bases and other sites, including to West Point ahead of the controversial graduation ceremony there.

Army photo

The modified infrared sensor can check for fever from up to eight feet away.



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