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JohhnyD
Recruit

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« on: August 30, 2019, 12:08:45 AM »

What models work best in mountain search patterns @ 1000 feet AGL? I want to get our unit one and do not know where to start with pricing.
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etodd
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« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2019, 02:22:26 AM »

To be able to see a person curled up in a fetal position from 1000 feet agl?  Don't bother with anything less than this:

https://www.flir.com/browse/government--defense/airborne-systems/

Going to need to get a good grant writer for that kind of funding.


Now ... if you want to start talking thermal from a low altitude flying drone, it can be considerably less. But then you are very limited to search area coverage, per drone, per battery.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2019, 03:01:45 AM »

What models work best in mountain search patterns @ 1000 feet AGL? I want to get our unit one and do not know where to start with pricing.

Assuming you have $20-30k(+!) lying around with nothing to spend it on, you'd need to get national approval
on the device you purchase, and write that check with the knowledge that the aircraft currently assigned to
your unit could and will be moved at the whim of the Wing DO.

You then need a full training plan, checkout process, and most likely wing supplements in regards to the
operations and related qualifications.

If you're serious, the place to start is with a study or data from the agencies your Wing currently supports
that they have any interest in calling CAP for missing persons where FLIR would be useful, after you have that data,
and assuming the number is "<0", then you can go from there.
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BJD
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Unit: NER-001

« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2019, 12:48:52 PM »

This installation would also require prior approval by the CAP/LG per CAPR 66-1.  Expect an STC and 337 will be required for the aircraft.
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NovemberWhiskey
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Unit: NER-NY-301

« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2019, 02:30:50 PM »

My initial assumption was the the original poster was talking about a handheld thermal imager rather than something that would be mounted on the aircraft. So FLIR the brand (or generic term) rather than an actual forward-looking infrared system.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2019, 02:37:18 PM »

This installation would also require prior approval by the CAP/LG per CAPR 66-1.  Expect an STC and 337 will be required for the aircraft.

you'd need to get national approval on the device

My initial assumption was the the original poster was talking about a handheld thermal imager rather than something that would be mounted on the aircraft. So FLIR the brand (or generic term) rather than an actual forward-looking infrared system.

@ 1000 feet AGL
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NovemberWhiskey
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« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2019, 02:51:08 PM »

Aircraft have windows. Handheld imagers with recognition ranges for human targets at over 2500m are available for under $5K.
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Spam
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« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2019, 04:17:13 PM »


Hi, JohhnyD.


Just for fun, it would help if you'd clarify your question. Are you looking for a true aircraft mounted FLIR, or just for nogs (e.g. handheld or head mounted Night Vision Goggles (NVGs).


You should be aware that either system presents serious operational training and safety problems if used by CAP aircrew. Twenty years ago I was party to the discussion which led to the current prohibition against the use of NVGs by CAP PICs. Military and other aircrew who routinely use nogs - especially at low altitudes - are required to complete and maintain significant initial and recurrent training. DoD files are filled with fatal mishaps in which the improper use of NVGs played a part, so this is a watch item for CAP DOs. Also factor in that most of the commercial portable systems are not 4949 systems with leaky green filters, and that none of our CAP cockpits have NVIS approved lighting packages, and that we don't have a vetted NVIS/NVG training package for our profiles, and you're proposing a flight regime for their use which is prohibited by CAPR 70-1, and I think you've got some problems here.


Concur strongly on the STC comment. Its not a trivial matter to legally get an STC through an ACO; see the current CAP STC for C182 special mission equipment at: http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgstc.nsf/0/AA6C50E1B54316288625844900477830?OpenDocument&Highlight=3a13

Concur on the CAPR 70-1 restriction. See:
CAPR 70-1 4 DECEMBER 2017
9.4. Aircraft Use – Prohibited Activities. The following operations are prohibited in CAP aircraft:
9.4.7. Use of night vision devices by the pilot flying.

Regarding the potential your proposed use of Night Vision Imaging Systems at 1000L AGL in mountainous terrain at night, I think you would never be approved to operate in this corner of the envelope in a CAP aircraft, on a USAF mission. Only momentary descents are authorized, and that your proposal to employ them appears to be to routinely fly patterns with them below 1K AGL in mountainous terrain at night is, frankly, all kinds of risky wrong.

See:
"9.10.6.3. Night. For sustained flight at night, operation of CAP aircraft below 2,000 ft AGL or within a lateral distance of 2,000 ft from any object is prohibited except for take-off and landing or in compliance with ATC procedures (such as IFR flight). The restriction to remain a lateral distance of 2000 ft from objects does not apply to approved intercept and remote piloted aircraft escort missions.
9.10.6.4. Observation and Photography. If necessary to confirm an observation or to obtain photo/video imagery, momentary descents to as low as 500’ AGL are authorized in accordance with mission rules of engagement and FAA regulations. Following the observation or imagery collection, the aircraft must climb to or above the minimum altitudes stated above for sustained flight".

Finally, on the (*admittedly fun) thought experiment, there are some capable, but less expensive systems out there which could be aircraft mounted and which already have C182 STCs. Because I work in the field, I'd prefer to not appear to endorse specific products of vendors such as FLIR systems, or others. But, its cool to speculate. Once upon a time, a few of us calculated that for the price of the ARCHER program and the now-grounded Gippslands we bought, we could have fielded a couple of low cost FLIR systems to be operated by right seat MOs in a large number of our aircraft. The Group A provisions could have been fleet wide, and the AME (sensor packages) could have been procured at Region level and shifted from aircraft to aircraft fairly easily (say, when you deployed aircraft to DR areas, as for example how we now have GAWG aircraft deployed for DR to other states).

Fun lunch time topic, thanks! (Back to work now on LIDARs and FLIR mods for the HH-60G Pave Hawk CSAR helo, my current work project).

V/r
Spam






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Eclipse
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« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2019, 04:23:21 PM »

Spam, I know you know this, but others may not. FLIR ≠ Night Vision.
https://www.flir.com/discover/ots/thermal-vs-night-vision/

Also, as far as I know, IRT does not travel well through plexiglass, so even assuming a handheld imager
was a viable selection, it could only be used in aircraft that have the window hatch.

Also, I hadn't even considered the risks of 1000' AGL in mountains.  No thanks.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2019, 04:26:32 PM by Eclipse » Report to moderator   Logged


NIN
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« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2019, 09:20:01 PM »

And the GA-8s are no longer grounded
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OldGuy
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« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2019, 09:26:28 PM »

My initial assumption was the the original poster was talking about a handheld thermal imager rather than something that would be mounted on the aircraft. So FLIR the brand (or generic term) rather than an actual forward-looking infrared system.
No, sorry. The AC mounted systems like NE and ND and WY wing appears to have (or had). We regularly get missing persons taskings and the SO chopper has FLIR but is often unavailable.
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etodd
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« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2019, 01:33:56 AM »

A handheld, zoomed in enough to see the thermal of a small human in a fetal position on the ground, is going to be a nightmare to try and use, without gyro help. Anyone who is an AP knows how impossible it is to use a 400mm zoom in a plane and try not to miss a spot as you as flying 100 knots or whatever.

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Flying Pig
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« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2019, 03:12:14 PM »

An inexpensive aircraft mounted FLIR or other similar model will run you about $400,000 after installation. FLIR 8500, SITE-20, TASE 500.  You start getting in to the MX-10 and other similar variants you are cresting in to $750k+.  Ive used it all operationally.  When you go cheap you may as well not even bother.  If you do opt to go cheap and you do a search, the people you are supporting need to know the limited equipment you are using.  Dont go up on a SAR and tell an agency that you FLIR'd the area because they are going to have an expectation based on what they know as a "FLIR search" using a high dollar system.  They will make decisions thinking you used a $1/2M system.   You may find something old and used for $200-250ish, but not often.  So use what you can afford.  Just insure the customer knows what you used.

« Last Edit: September 05, 2019, 06:40:22 PM by Flying Pig » Report to moderator   Logged
Flying Pig
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« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2019, 06:20:02 PM »

As far as the use of NVGs, Im an NVGIP in both airplanes and helicopters.   An NVGd cockpit will run you about $50,000.  The NVGs will run between $12-$15,000.  The cost of NVG mod to the cockpit would probably exceed the cost of the airplane!   :o  You would want at minumum for your pilot and Observer to wear them.  Currency requirements for your NVG PIC is every 120 days.  Adding some type of NVG program to CAP would be next to impossible.  I currently fly a Bell 407GXi and a Quest Kodiak.  I have about 1500 hours of just NVG time with about 250 night unaided (1750 total night)   If I go a while without flying goggles, I have to ease back in to it myself.   Its not something you need to be doing 1x year when you get called out to go fly at 2am.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2019, 06:41:11 PM »

Cockpit modifications and training of the pilot are not required for CAP NVG use as the pilot isn't allowed to use them,
only Scanners and Observers.
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JohhnyD
Recruit

Posts: 48

« Reply #15 on: September 07, 2019, 07:05:34 PM »

An inexpensive aircraft mounted FLIR or other similar model will run you about $400,000 after installation. FLIR 8500, SITE-20, TASE 500.  You start getting in to the MX-10 and other similar variants you are cresting in to $750k+.  Ive used it all operationally.  When you go cheap you may as well not even bother.  If you do opt to go cheap and you do a search, the people you are supporting need to know the limited equipment you are using.  Dont go up on a SAR and tell an agency that you FLIR'd the area because they are going to have an expectation based on what they know as a "FLIR search" using a high dollar system.  They will make decisions thinking you used a $1/2M system.   You may find something old and used for $200-250ish, but not often.  So use what you can afford.  Just insure the customer knows what you used.
So what equipment did the units that have them choose? who paid for the equipment and what have the results been?
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SarDragon
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« Reply #16 on: September 07, 2019, 07:36:04 PM »

An inexpensive aircraft mounted FLIR or other similar model will run you about $400,000 after installation. FLIR 8500, SITE-20, TASE 500.  You start getting in to the MX-10 and other similar variants you are cresting in to $750k+.  Ive used it all operationally.  When you go cheap you may as well not even bother.  If you do opt to go cheap and you do a search, the people you are supporting need to know the limited equipment you are using.  Dont go up on a SAR and tell an agency that you FLIR'd the area because they are going to have an expectation based on what they know as a "FLIR search" using a high dollar system.  They will make decisions thinking you used a $1/2M system.   You may find something old and used for $200-250ish, but not often.  So use what you can afford.  Just insure the customer knows what you used.

So what equipment did the units that have them choose? who paid for the equipment and what have the results been?

He's not talking about CAP units. Pig is a cop, somewhere in Florida, whose agency has a significantly higher budget than any CAP unit.

[Reopened by request. Let's try to have a civil conversation here, and read the posts all the way through before responding.]
« Last Edit: September 09, 2019, 06:37:14 PM by SarDragon » Report to moderator   Logged
Dave Bowles
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Flying Pig
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« Reply #17 on: September 09, 2019, 06:54:05 PM »

I should have pointed out that my experience with those systems was from an LE Aviation position.  Although SarDragon has outdated info.  Florida was so last year.... now Im a Game Warden in GA  ::) 

I mention pilots using NVGs, because if youre up at night doing a SAR and using thermal, things start to get very taxing.  The only one in use in CAP that I know of is (I think) in one of the Dakotas.  Its a FLIR 8000/8500.  And I believe the state bought it for CAP.  Its really a pretty touchy area to get in to, and something you would need to dedicate a lot of flight time and training towards perfecting and staying good at it.   Where I am now the camera is on our airplane and we do a lot of night operations with it and everyone wears NVGs, especially the pilot.  Without being able to see the IR laser, it would be near impossible to keep the aircraft oriented with where the camera operator is looking.  The pilot has to be able to look out and see the laser, and you can only do that with NVGs.    The Game Wardens we use as camera operators feel like they are starting over every time they come out with only a few weeks in between their last mission. 

As far as mountain ops at night with a camera,  You would need to be well above 1000' in mountains.  And for that you are now talking about very high dollar systems.  Night ops in the mountains where the pilot is NOT wearing NVGs, youd be talking borderline suicide mission without being to dramatic. 
« Last Edit: September 09, 2019, 07:14:13 PM by Flying Pig » Report to moderator   Logged
Eclipse
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« Reply #18 on: September 09, 2019, 09:13:16 PM »

The only one in use in CAP that I know of is (I think) in one of the Dakotas.  Its a FLIR 8000/8500.  And I believe the state bought it for CAP.

As of 2012 / 2013 RsTC, Wyoming and North Dakota.  Wyoming says it came from the state.

https://www.gocivilairpatrol.com/media/cms/WY_Newsletter_F8F0F52CEFD8A.pdf

https://www.gocivilairpatrol.com/media/cms/Leg_Day_ND_Wing_HiRes_B8A0F4CDC31D7.pdf
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