The United States business Teledyne FLIR has actually announced a new generation of tactical quadcopter specifically planned for use by police forces and army units. The ION M640x is rainproof and, in addition to an RGB zoom video camera, also has a 640 × 512 pixels infrared sensor for shooting night shots. The system likewise offers tactical functions such as things tracking and a laser illuminator.

Item Tracking and Laser Illuminator

The ION M640x features a 12 megapixel RGB camera with 4x optical and 10x digital zoom, a 640 × 512 infrared sensor and a Near-Infrared (NIR) laser illuminator. With the NIR illuminator, operators can find things that interest and make them visible to other mission participants. The ION M640x likewise consists of entirely brand-new wise things tracking that permits operators to designate an item that is then automatically tracked by the drone.

Another function of the ION M640x worries the open system architecture. The system utilizes an effective objective computer system for sophisticated autonomous functions. The device is MAVLINK-compliant and interoperable with Common Ground Control Stations (C-GCS), consisting of the Tactical Open Ground Station Architecture (TOGA) as used by the United States Army. The tri-band radio connection is safeguarded with 256 bit AES file encryption.

The optimum flight time is against 35 minutes. The variety of the transmitter is approximately 3 km. The drone uses barrier detection in the forward instructions of flight. The M640x is quickly portable as a backpack and weighs about 2 kg and appropriates for usage in extreme weather conditions, consisting of rain and wind

Based on Blue sUAS The ION M640x originated from the ION M 440, one of the original 5 drone platforms authorized by the U.S. Department of Defense from the Blue sUAS program, for use by U.S. military units and federal government agencies. The M440 was established by Florida-based Altavian Inc., which FLIR obtained in December 2020.

“Our proven US-based technical know-how and focus on defence and public security markets means that our consumers get the most protected and capable UAS services,” said Thomas Rambo, Senior Director of Unmanned and Integrated Solutions at Teledyne FLIR. “Building on our unique position as a domestic provider of unmanned systems and detection innovation, the ION M640x offers high-resolution infrared imaging, clever things tracking, laser illumination, and industry-leading support and service.”

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Alternative to Mavic 2 Dual

With the ION M640x, FLIR offers an American option to the DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual, which is also popular with authorities systems in the Netherlands due to its low cost, compact size and combination of RGB and IR. DJI’s systems came into dispute just recently, after numerous political leaders asked chamber concerns about the use of DJI drones by Rijkswaterstaat and the police, amongst others. This is because of issues in the field of information security.

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What does FLIR Mean?

The term FLIR, which stands for “Forward Looking Infrared”, refers to the technology used to create an infrared image of a scene without having to “scan” the scene with a moving sensor, which is what was previously required. It is also the name of the largest manufacturer of thermal imaging cameras (FLIR Systems). Since the 1950s there are now many manufacturers of thermal infrared cameras besides FLIR. Using the term FLIR in reference to all thermal cameras is no longer accurate unless referring to a FLIR branded camera.

In order to “see” radiated heat, special lenses and sensors are needed to focus and detect electromagnetic radiation in the MWIR (mid‑wave infrared) and LWIR (long‑wave infrared) ranges.

Thermal infrared imaging sensors detect thermal energy via special FPAs (Focal Plane Arrays). These FPA’s  can be divided into two types, cooled and uncooled detectors. Cooled detectors exist to maximize detection performance. Since we’re detecting radiated heat, any heat from the camera components themselves makes it harder to see the image of the scene. Both our high-definition MCT (Mercury Cadmium Telluride or HgCdTe) sensors and our Indium Animonide (InSb) sensors incorporate a cryogenic cooling system to reduce the “noise” from the heat of the internal camera components and the sensor itself. This allows for detection of thermal energy with an accuracy as fine as 0.025°C.

Uncooled detectors are also available which are more affordable and compact due to the lack of a cryogenic cooler. We use vanadium oxide (VOx) detectors in our uncooled cameras and combine them with wide aperture lenses to maximize their performance (see below).

LWIR (Long Wave Infrared Cameras) are the most common type of FLIR (Forward Looking Infrared) thermal infrared surveillance cameras as (LWIR) operates on 7 to 14 microns (7,000nm–14,000nm) in wavelength where terrestrial temperature targets emit most of their infrared energy and unlike cooled thermal cameras require no coolers or maintenance.  Infiniti optics LWIR cameras use the latest 12μm LWIR uncooled thermal sensors with resolutions of 384×288 up to 1280×1024 HD.

Uncooled LWIR thermal imaging is more affordable than cooled MWIR thermal imaging, as the sensors have no moving parts eliminating the need for regular maintenance. Infiniti’s LWIR cameras have a reputation for industry leading performance as we pair our uncooled sensors with large aperture precision engineers GE lenses, allowing more thermal energy to reach the sensor, which  than further optimizes the image by applying out DICE dynamic image contrast enhancement to provide high contrast crisp images for long range detection recognition and identification.

Cooled thermal Imaging cameras are usually sold as MWIR Mid-wave Infrared imaging, as the name suggest use an integrated cryogenic cooler, which chills the thermal image core to temperatures as low as -196°C (-321°F)  to increase the sensitivity and accuracy of the thermal image. Uncooled cameras are based on VoX infrared sensor and are often uncooled and operated on LWIR long wave infrared wavelength.  Cooled Thermal cameras see longer range than uncooled cameras as their greater sensitivity allows for bigger less efficient lens than LWIR cameras. Infiniti’s0~1400mm cooled thermal cameras allow for up 55km for vehicle detection based on DRI military standards making them the best choice for long range night vision but come at a higher cost than standard uncooled LWIR cameras.   Infiniti offers both MWIR Cooled and LWIR Uncooled infrared modules in 640×512 1024×720 1280×1024, 1920x1080up to 5MP. We sell as open frame modules (lens and sensor attached) or as complete integrated PTZ cameras with Visible and SWIR sensors for ultra long-range imaging and threat detection even in complete darkness.

One drawback is MWIR cooled thermal cameras are higher cost than standard uncooled LWIR cameras. Infiniti offers both MWIR Cooled and LWIR Uncooled infrared modules in 640×512 1024×720 1280×1024, 1920x1080up to 5MP. We sell as open frame modules (lens and sensor attached) or as complete integrated PTZ cameras with Visible and SWIR sensors for ultra long-range imaging and threat detection even in complete darkness.
Infiniti optics custom builds all types of EO/IR solutions and can offer them as open frame modules (lens and sensor attached) or as complete integrated PTZ cameras with Visible and SWIR sensors for ultra long-range imaging required by a host of military and defense applications.