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Solo Ti, in Darlington, aims to expand in marine sector and greyhound racing arena
Greyhounds race around the track at a recent meeting. Solo Ti is making thermal imaging cameras to diagnose injuries in the animals
AN internationally-renowned thermal imaging firm, acclaimed for its life-saving products used by the White House and Nasa, has revealed plans to strengthen its global position.
Solo Ti, based in Darlington, wants to increase its presence in the luxury cruiseliner marine sector, greyhound racing arena and the mainstream electrical appliance market.
The company, whose cameras are used by Chelsea Football Club's billionaire owner Roman Abramovich and the SAS, has secured deals with the Costa and Mariotti shipyards in Italy.
Bosses say Costa, the operator behind the Costa Concordia liner that ran aground in Tuscany, is using its thermal imaging helmets, with Mariotti taking 22 of its Halo thermal cameras, which can connect to firefighters' equipment.
It already supplies helmets and cameras for the £470m Royal Princess cruise liner, which can be used to search for overboard casualties and to detect sea pirates, with its fire protection helmets standard equipment on Cunard's Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria liners, as well as P&O and Seabourn vessels.
The firm, run by brother and sister Victoria McLaren and James Brooks, is also developing technology for vets and trainers to assess injuries in greyhounds, with any strains on the animals shown as heat patches on its cameras.
It already supplies cameras to racehorse trainers to identify injuries, and is working on a deal to make a thermal imaging product for a renowned mass market trade company.
Mr Brooks said: “Our plans to expand our marine sector, get into the appliance market, and move into greyhound racing will put us on a different stratosphere.
“There isn't anybody who makes and develops products like ours worldwide.
“When I went to Marotti, they fell in love with our products straightaway, and the new ship coming through with Costa will be using our equipment.
“We want to get under the skin of our rivals and compete with our products, which we know, and so many people are seeing, are fantastic.
“The Costa and Marotti deals are great, but there are bigger ones out there for us too.”
Mr Brooks said the company has also sent a halo device to GlaxoSmithKline's factory, in Barnard Castle, County Durham, which will be used in its vaccine work.
He added 24 of its helmets will be used by the Bangkok Civil Defence, with 25 of its hand-held thermal imaging cameras being sent to Russia, and two cameras due to be shipped to the Bulgarian Fire Service.
Earlier this year, it revealed it was working on more hand-held detection units for the Bangladesh navy.
It previously supplied helmets to Formula One pit crews including Ferrari, McLaren, Benetton and short-lived Japanese team Super Aguri.
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