MISSISSAUGA, ON -- April 12, 2012 -- GE Canada supplied and developed specially-adapted Remote Visual Inspection (RVI) equipment for internal inspection of a newly discovered burial tomb in Jerusalem, dating from the 1st century A.D. The same equipment which is used in energy, pharmaceutical and manufacturing sectors provided high definition video images of ossuaries within the tomb to enable archaeological experts to read inscriptions and gain insight into their provenance.
This exciting archeological event was captured in Simcha Jacobovici's new documentary, The Jesus Discovery, which has its historic Canadian debut on Thursday, April 12 on VisionTV at 10pm ET/7pm PT.
Religious groups and the Israel Antiquities board stipulated that no one should enter the tomb, nor should anything be disturbed or retrieved as part of the licensed exploration. Fortunately, GE's remote visual inspection equipment which was used during a similar tomb exploration in 2005, was once again made available with the support GE's engineers and technology experts including Ontario's own Bill Tarant,
"To ensure the video was in broadcast quality, for those onsite and the documentary, required major development work by GE's engineers, resulting in a customized High Definition camera", said Bill Tarant, GE Ontario Sales Manager. "Leveraging GE technology to see inside a tomb that had not been viewed for thousands of years was an incredible experience, giving both the local Ontario team and those in Jerusalem, an amazing feeling of accomplishment."
The burial tomb was revealed during building work in East Talpiot, just outside the old city of Jerusalem and licensed exploration was granted to Principal Investigators Prof. James D. Tabor of the University of North Carolina (UNC) and Prof. Rami Arav of the University of Nebraska, under the academic supervision of UNC.
"With the current project, we had to drill three 8 inch holes through two meters of rock. The tomb was 1 metre in height but any inspection equipment needed to be able to extend over 3 metres to obtain the required coverage", added Tarant. "We solved the problem by using a mechanical/pneumatic arm, designed by Walter Klassen, a well-known Toronto based prop maker for feature films. This was fitted to a GE CA-Zoom PTZ (pan-tilt-zoom) camera, which was used to obtain the images inside the tomb."
Although the first images received were very good, the investigators asked if the definition could be improved to broadcast quality, so that the inscriptions on the ossuaries could be read, not only on site but also by viewers of the film which was being made. To support the CA-Zoom cameras, GE also introduced its XLG3 video probe to provide images of extremely difficult access areas within the tomb. With its very high light output and its unique 360° All-Way® articulation, combined with advanced digital signal processing, the XLG3 can be remotely manipulated into the most difficult of locations to provide sharp, high quality images.
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