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Northwest technology helped find Boston bombing suspect

The technology made by Flir Systems Inc. of Wilsonville, Oregon led to capture of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. (Photo courtesy Massachusetts State Police)

Boston and Massachusetts State Police got their first look at the Boston Marathon bombing suspect’s hiding place with the help of infrared imaging technology developed in Wilsonville, Oregon.

A Watertown, Massachusetts resident reported he thought the 19-year-old suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was hiding in a boat in his backyard. Police used an infrared camera developed by FLIR Systems Inc. to locate him and track his movements.

FLIR is used as a military acronym. It’s also the name of the Wilsonville, Oregon company that made the police equipment.

A helicopter equipped with FLIR — a forward-looking infrared device – picked up the heat signature of the suspect.

In a statement, FLIR Vice President Shane Harrison said, “We saw the images that they just released. Yep, that is ours.”

Founded in 1978, the company makes military and commercial night-vision and heat-sensing equipment and security systems.

Originally the company created the infrared imaging systems to be installed on vehicles for use in conducting energy audits. Today, they’re one of the world leaders in design and manufacture of infrared sensor systems.


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