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17 Sep 13. FLIR Systems, Inc. announced that its Star SAFIRE 380-HD was selected by Bristow Helicopters for its fleet of AW189 and S-92 helicopters to be used in the United Kingdom’s Search and Rescue (SAR) helicopter program, due to commence in 2015. This comes after the UK Department for Transport awarded the UK SAR contract to Bristow Helicopters Limited (Bristow Helicopters) in March of this year. The UK SAR services contract, which Bristow Helicopters will fulfill on behalf of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), has a phased-in transition period beginning in April 2015 and continuing to July 2017 with a contract length of approximately ten years. Bristow Helicopters will provide 11 Sikorsky S-92 and 11 AgustaWestland AW189 helicopters that will be located at ten strategically located helicopter bases across the UK. Each SAR base will operate either two S-92s or two AW189s. In addition to the ten bases with 20 aircraft, there will be two fully SAR-equipped training aircraft that can be deployed to any base as needed. FLIR’s Star SAFIRE 380-HD selection allows the latest generation of high-definition, multispectral imaging to be used by aircrew of both helicopter types in this demanding SAR role. FLIR has been providing Star SAFIRE observation systems and product support to UK SAR operators for more than 20 years, and continues to achieve an operational availability greater than 99%. FLIR’s product support, already in place for other UK Police and SAR operators, will blend seamlessly with Bristow Helicopter’s support model for all of their UK SAR bases. Working in close association with Bristow Helicopters, the SAR aircrew training will include familiarization with the capabilities of Star SAFIRE 380-HD. The specific Star SAFIRE 380-HD configuration selected for UK SAR includes the latest high definition variants of infrared (IR), day-camera, and short wave infrared (SWIR) sensors, coupled with GeoLock high accuracy scene coordinate location and augmented image enhancement. The Star SAFIRE 380-HD represents the latest state-of-the-art, airborne imaging solution, offering extreme stand-off observation capability. The sensor system is currently used in SAR operations, law enforcement, military and border surveillance missions worldwide. The Star SAFIRE 380-HD contains advanced payload configurations with multiple high definition sensors, including a full native high definition infrared camera, making the Star SAFIRE 380-HD the world’s only commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) airborne system to provide real high definition thermal imaging.
“FLIR is proud to be selected by Bristow Helicopters for the UK Search and Rescue program,” said Bill Sundermeier, president of FLIR Government Systems. “We take our responsibility to offer lifesaving technology very seriously, and together with Bristow Helicopters, our products and people will be there when survivors and those in distress need the right technology and service to be brought to safety”
European launch customers for the Star SAFIRE 380-HD include Saxony Police, with more deliveries now also completed in the United Kingdom, Southern Europe and Scandinavia.
24 Sep 13. Schiebel, FLIR and Transpower announced the successful demonstration of the Schiebel CAMCOPTER® S-100 Unmanned Air System (UAS) with the integrated FLIR Corona 350 Sensor being used to inspect high voltage power-lines and supporting structures. This event marked the first time that this new capability was demonstrated using a UAS. Transpower with the support of the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority hosted a series of demonstrations at the Drury substation in Auckland, New Zealand, where the outstanding combination of the CAMCOPTER® S-100 and the FLIR sensor confirmed the system’s ability to identify encroaching vegetation and activity associated with underbuil