Aerial Fire Tech‎ > ‎


Historically thermal infrared installations were physically large, costing up to $Million per plane and required a trained operator. Passive high-resolution IR for seeing through smoke, dark and mapping can be purchased for ~$3,000. Installation is quick, low cost and FAA approval paperwork is also simple (337 field form, no STC needed). Very good microbolometer LWIR cameras have become quite small: FLIR Boson, Flir Tau, FLIR Vue R and FLIR Duo Pro R

The system turns on with the plane with USB power and is fully operational with no switches. No operator is needed.  Pilot or crew only need to look at the passive screen when they can't see outside due to smoke or dark. Optional recording and streaming to the ground are also automatic if added.  There are no switches.  The intuitive system can be used on its first missions without training. Everything turns on with the airplane’s master switch, and off, there is no shutdown process

The same IR camera can also record movies, takes snapshots or transmit continuously live to one or every firefighter's iPhone. Within minutes A mapping person on the ground or in the plane can create heat perimeters for the GIS team or WiFire projection models.
 Mount downward for mapping and helicopters, or side looking for Air Attack.

Due to their small size, Long wave infrared (LWIR) microbolometer cameras can be mounted on a doubled inspection plate with a tiny open hole. A high-quality camera, such as the FLIR Vue or Quark weighing ounces, will mount behind or attach to a normal inspection panel drilled with a quarter-sized open hole (no glass). The FAA has approved this installation many times with a 337 filed approval form and no STC (similar to adding a radio). The tiny IR camera resides inside the plane away from the wind, rain & elements, yet has a clear air view the open hole (IR does not see through glass). The fixed mount is aligned to look down for mapping, forward or to the side in the direction an Air Attack, Lead Plane or tanker looks.

Camera power uses USB 5VDC like an iPhone. Video is displayed in the cockpit on an automobile Standard Definition (SD) headrest monitor (NTSC analog) or Android/iiPad with video capture dongle. The whole system turns on and off with the aircraft’s primary master switch or avionics master switch. 

In the cockpit, a small display or iPad/Android is mounted for easy viewing. The display is easily viewed by anyone on the aircraft and does not block the pilot’s view to any instruments, nor the outside. The IR can be in the natural scan for pilot.