Monday, June 14, 2010

FLIR Keeping our Soldiers Safer with New Infrared Sensors

FLIR Systems in Wilsonville, Ore., is launching a pair of uncooled infrared sensors that will give soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, coast guardsmen and law enforcement a low-cost, lightweight, high-performance sensor that can be either handheld or mounted as an infrared weapon sight.

The two Recon M monocular systems, in two performance ranges, each weigh less than 14 ounces, have a 3-hour run time, and zoom to 4X while providing 500 meters of human detect range. Recon M has a high-resolution, large-format long-wave VOx microbolometer that delivers range performance and image quality, as well as image and video options that enable the user to configure sensor to mission requirements.
FLIR’s STACE image enhancement technology provides image quality enhancements via spatial edge and dynamic range enhancement; auto gain and level control, which automatically provides optimized imagery; and multi-use capability so that it can be configured for handheld, tripod mount, or helmet mount.

The handheld sensors are part of a long-term FLIR strategy to develop soldier solutions that extend from long-range, cooled thermal and image intensified (I2) binoculars and sniper sights, to tactical sights that can be affixed to a range of weapon types.

“These soldier sensors are small—pocket scopes—that can be used for surveillance and reconnaissance," explains says Bill Sundermeier, president of FLIR Government Systems. "They will be inexpensive so that they will be accessible to individual soldiers and unit leaders. They’ll keep them in their pocket or velcro them to their web gear. They’ll be able to use them as a handheld night sight, and also clip them onto their weapon to use as a weapon sight.”

FLIR Systems has an advantage in the large volumes of detectors and optic devices the company manufactures. The majority of these detectors go into commercial industries like automotive, where standards for shock, vibration, and temperature far outstrip any mil-specs for thermal sensors. “The two real cost components of an uncooled sensor are the detector and the optics, and we design and manufacture both of those inside our own company, so we have access to much lower cost components than anybody else,” Sundermeier says.

Over the past year, FLIR has offered cooled and uncooled thermal rifle sights, each of which has benefits and tradeoffs. The detector and the optics are the guts of the matter. Uncooled systems are inherently less sensitive, but potentially much lighter in weight with less power consumption than cooled systems.
To put it another way, cooled systems are for long-range performance, despite the added weight and power of a cryogenic detector cooler, due to their greater sensitivity and ability to use longer-range optics. Uncooled systems are better suited for shorter range applications where lightweight and low-power trump sensitivity considerations.

“Uncooled is better for short-range performance, in terms of those overall tradeoffs,” Sundermeier explains. “If what I’m doing is driving a vehicle down the road I don’t have to see far. But I do want a wide field of view. So for a sensor that needs a fairly wide field of view and a fairly short range performance, uncooled is great and also inexpensive enough to put on a vehicle.

“Conversely, if I really need to see a long way then I’m talking narrow fields of view and long focal lengths, and I really want to go cooled because my detector is so much more sensitive," Sundermeier continues. "I can live with these less sensitive optics and really reach out and touch somebody, and also package it in a reasonable size.”

Is it impossible to make a man-portable handheld cooled sensor or sniper sight? “Absolutely not,” Sundermeier says. “Products like our Recon III are available, which is cooled, has long battery life, long-range performance, and is light enough to be handheld, relative to other cooled systems."
For more information contact FLIR Systems online at www.flir.com.

Friday, June 11, 2010

FLIR FINDS OIL ON THE WATER

Portland, OR

FLIR Systems, Inc.  announced that recent tests to determine how well its thermal imaging cameras could see oil on water had outstanding results, and that FLIR maritime thermal imagers are providing valuable assistance to oil recovery crews working in the Gulf Oil Spill.

In early April of 2010, FLIR conducted a series of experiments at the OHMSETT oil recovery test facility in coastal New Jersey to determine if FLIR maritime thermal imagers see petrochemicals floating on seawater, and if so, which cameras do it the best. In the experiment, FLIR tested a variety of thermal imagers, observing five different kinds of oil and diesel in a variety of sea states and from three different viewing angles, and under a variety of lighting conditions.

The Result: FLIR maritime thermal longwave imaging cameras succeed at providing crisp, clear real‐time video and photos of any temperature oil in all types of seas, in glaring sunlight, with no light at all, and from just about any angle. FLIR thermal imagers can see oil on water extremely well—day or night, in all types of lighting conditions—because oil emits infrared energy quite differently from water, giving floating films a distinct appearance. In addition, infrared imaging requires no visible light to make a clear image and is not affected by reflections caused by wave action or solar interference. 

Just a few weeks after this initial test, FLIR’s M‐Series and First Mate maritime imagers are currently proving their worth to oil containment and recovery crews in the recent Gulf oil spill, providing valuable aid and assistance in this time of national emergency. You can see footage of our cameras at work at http://www.youtube.com/user/FLIRNightVision.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

FLIR Director John C. Hart Retires

PORTLAND, OR
May 26, 2010

FLIR Systems announced today that John C. Hart has retired from his position as a Director of the Company. Mr. Hart, 76, has served as a director since 1987 including service as Chairman of the Board from 1987 to 1993. He also served as interim Chief Executive Officer from May to November 2000. During his 23 year career with the Company, Mr. Hart served on and chaired numerous Board committees, most recently as a member of the Audit Committee of the Board. It is anticipated that Mr. Hart will continue to serve the Company's Board of Directors in a consulting capacity.
"John Hart has provided guidance and leadership to FLIR for over twenty years. During his tenure, FLIR grew from a small private company to become the leading commercial infrared company in the world," said Earl R. Lewis, President and CEO of FLIR Systems, Inc. "John led the Company as interim CEO in 2000, and has been a tremendous resource for the Board and executive team of FLIR. We thank him for his extraordinary service, and wish him well in retirement."
About FLIR Systems FLIR Systems, Inc. is a world leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of thermal imaging and stabilized camera systems for a wide variety of thermography and imaging applications including condition monitoring, research and development, manufacturing process control, airborne observation and broadcast, search and rescue, drug interdiction, surveillance and reconnaissance, navigation safety, border and maritime patrol, environmental monitoring and ground-based security. Visit the Company's web site at www.FLIR.com.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Contractors Tout FLIR Camera As Great Tool - Thermal Imaging Getting More Use In Homes

(Re-published from KETV Channel 7 of Omaha, Nebraska)

Law enforcement and the military have been using thermal imaging technology and night vision gear for decades. But now more homeowners are using it to determine the energy efficiency of their home.

A forward-looking infrared radiometer, also known as a FLIR camera, can pinpoint more than just cold and warm air moving through a home. “You can look for termites in the walls. See where they’re colonizing in the walls. You can see HVAC problems, cracked heat exchangers, condenser coils outside where they are clogged,” said David Doerhoff with the FLIR Corporation.

Extremely sensitive cameras pick up just a 10th of a degree in thermal differences. Doerhoff placed his hand on the wall and the device could see the body heat left behind.

More and more contractors are finding the technology to be useful. “We’re able to walk around with the homeowner and show exactly what it looks like within their walls,” said Todd Trevaille with USA Insulation. Trevaille said he’s used the camera on 80 different homes in the metro. He said it allows him to see the problem without doing anything destructive to the home. The Omaha Public Power District also used the cameras to evaluate substations and lines. But, the cameras aren’t cheap. The starting price for a FLIR camera is $3,000.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The T300, AIC's Latest Addition to the FLIR line - and offering a Discount

AIC is currently offering a discount on the T300, scroll to the bottom for details.

An added feature of the FLIR T300 is its being equipped with METERLiNK™, an exclusive wireless technology that records essential meter readings at a job site directly onto your infrared images. METERLiNK™ connects your FLIR camera with select Extech meters via Bluetooth, transmitting readings that add value and insight to your infrared inspections and reports, benefiting your business.

The FLIR T300 has a Fusion Picture in Picture (PIP) feature which displays the thermal image super-imposed over a digital image. The video lamp allows the visual camera and fusion to be used in poorly lit environments. The thumbnail image gallery allows for quick search of stored images on the 3.5" touch-screen display. Other features of the FLIR T300 infrared camera include a laser LocatIR ™ Pointer which pinpoints the hot spot on the IR image with the real physical target voice comment recording and SD card storage.

The FLIR T300 has a temperature range measuring from -4 to 1202°F (-20 to 650°C) and a ±2% accuracy. The convenient rotating lens rotates up to 120° providing an easy viewing angle. The FLIR T300 camera also offers interchangeable optics. Optional 6°, 15°, 45°, 90°, Close up: 100, 50, 25µm lenses easily attach to the camera body for greater versatility.

The FLIR T300 infrared camera takes high resolution IR images at 76,800 pixels (320 x 240) infrared resolution. The FLIR T300 is also a visible light digital camera with 3.1 MP resolution and a flash, providing sharp images regardless of the lighting conditions.

Call or e-mail us for this month's discount - the FLIR T300 infrared camera package. The offer is $600 off when you purchase the FLIR T300, an additional lithium-ion battery ($150.00 value) and custom-made holster (compliant with OSHA's three points of contact safety standards).

Office: (888) 268-0567    or   contact@go-ir.com

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Energy Star Fraud - Beware, Applicable to Homes Too

A new report from the auditing arm of Congress shows that the federal Energy Star program has a sloppy certification process that can be easily abused.

The 18-year-old program, which is administered jointly by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy, offers consumers rebates and tax credits on appliances that meet certain standards for energy efficiency.  American consumers, businesses, and federal agencies rely on the Energy Star program to identify products that decrease greenhouse emissions and lower energy costs. Companies use Energy Star certification to market their products to consumers in the hopes they will buy products based on government certification of their energy consumption and costs.

Given the millions of dollars allocated to encourage use of Energy Star products and concerns that the Energy Star program is vulnerable to fraud and abuse, GAO was asked to conduct proactive testing to (1) obtain Energy Star partnership status for bogus companies and (2) submit fictitious products for Energy Star certification. To perform this investigation, GAO used four bogus manufacturing firms and fictitious individuals to apply for Energy Star partnership and submitted 20 fictitious products with fake energy-savings claims for Energy Star certification. GAO also reviewed program documents and interviewed agency officials and officials from agency Inspector General (IG) offices.

But in a report issued today, the Government Accountability Office says its auditors obtained Energy Star certifications for 15 of 20 products it submitted using fictitious companies and individuals. Those certifications led to requests from real companies to buy some products because they had received Energy Star endorsements.

The phony products included a gasoline-powered alarm clock, which was approved by Energy Star without a review of the company web site or questions about the efficiency claimed for it.  Auditors also submitted a geothermal heat pump, which they claimed to be more efficient than any product listed as certified on the Energy Star Web site.  The product was certified and its efficiency data was not questioned. Two bogus products were rejected by the program and 3 did not receive a response. One of the products that an outside company wanted to buy was a computer monitor that had been approved by Energy Star within 30 minutes of submission.

This clearly shows how heavily American consumers rely on the Energy Star brand.

At briefings on GAO's investigation, DOE and EPA officials agreed that the program is currently based on self-certifications by manufacturers. However, officials stated there are after-market tests and self-policing that ensure standards are maintained. GAO did not test or evaluate controls related to products that were already certified and available to the public. In addition, prior DOE IG, EPA IG, and GAO reports have found that current Energy Star controls do not ensure products meet efficiency guidelines.

In 2008 Energy Star reported saving consumers $19 billion dollars on utility costs.  Energy Star is slated to receive about $300 million in federal stimulus money to be used for state rebate programs on energy-efficient products.

Energy Star fraud not only affects products, but your house. Many homes are Energy Star “approved”, while a quick thermal scan can determine whether the house is, in fact, energy efficient. As a licensed home inspector, I have come across many homes that were “Energy Star compliant” but consistently had gaps of missing insulation. Beware of an Energy Star rated home, get an infrared energy audit before investing in a property.

Below are some sample pictures of mine from home inspections of Energy Star approved houses:

Monday, April 12, 2010

Discounts!

Due to the Spring Fever we're experiencing here in Tucson, American Infrared Consultants is offering two discounts on its FLIR product packages.

The first package is a FLIR I-50 camera set. The package includes the FLIR Infrared I-50 camera, one (1) extra battery, a custom-made holster for carrying your camera, and a hardshell storage case. The discount on this package is currently $400.00 off, and is valid until May 27th of 2010.

The second package is for a FLIR I-60 camera set. This package includes one (1) extra battery, a custom-made holster for carrying, and a hardshell storage case. Purchase of the I-60 (or any camera above the I-60) comes with a complimentary Extech Moisture Meter & Extech Meter Link. The discount on this package is currently $600.00 off, and is valid until May 27th of 2010 also.

Ask about our financing options and hurry while the offer lasts!