The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) now has the ability to put a camera right inside a fire, capturing stunning 360-degree video. Using technology that circulates water around the camera to keep it cool, they are able to get a view of fires not easily seen before.
In fire research, you can gather data, crunch numbers, run simulations and observe, but usually only at a distance. Getting a close-up look is difficult because of life safety dangers and technology challenges. With the Burn Observation Bubble (BOB) camera, you can shift the scene around and look at the fire from different angles. You can see the fire coming toward you, moving above you, and watch it go past.
So far, NIST has video of a forest fire, a burning room, a kitchen fire and a mock-up of a museum collection storage room. Researchers continuously work to improve video and photographic technology so they can better study fire behavior. This new tech “is a significant step to communicate the challenges in understanding wildfires and the risks they present.”