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Affordable Infrared System For Aircraft

by John M. White |

Infrared technology has been around since 1835 when Macedonio Melloni discovered that radiant heat has similar physical properties to those of light.  In experiments he demonstrated that radiation has wavelenghts longer than visible light but shorter than microwaves.  Infrared means "below red", red being the color of visible light with the longest wavelength. 3d_camera By the mid-1970's the US Military is using infrared technology for many applications including night vision goggles.  Infrared is used in night vision equipment when there is insufficient visible light to see.  Night vision devices operate through a process involving the conversion of ambient light photons into electrons which are then amplified by a chemical and electrical process and then converted back into visible light.  Infrared light sources can then be used to augment the available ambient light for conversion by night vision devices, increasing in-the-dark visibility without actually using a visible light source. A company in Russell, PA has developed an affordable infrared system for general aviation aircraft called "Forward Vision" which costs approximately $ 15,000.  The unit is presently undergoing testing and initial original equipment manufacturer type certification and supplemental type certification on a variety of aircraft. The Forward Looking Infrared (EVS) camera system should enable pilots using this thermal imaging camera system to prevent runway incursions by clearly identifying runways, taxiways, buildings, parked aircraft and people while taxiing, taking off and landing during night time and periods of low visibility.  The system allows pilots to see through darkness, smoke, smog and can assist visibility in fog, rain and even snow. The unit requires no maintenance and has no training costs associated with it.  The images are displayed on a 5" cockpit LCD display unit called "The Flipper" which can be installed on the aircraft's dash and flipped up when needed. More information this interesting device can be found at Forward Vision or contact an authorized dealer for more information. Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch! JetAviator7

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