Side Looking Infrared

Infrared has long been heralded as a breakthrough Human Aiding Technology for aerial fire fighters. Historically IR installations were physically large, costing $100,000+ per plane and required a trained operator. Recently good quality IR cameras can be easily installed quickly along with simple FAA approval paperwork (337 field form). In-flight special operators (third person) are not needed, and without any training, ATGS/Pilot usage is functional on first exposure during live missions. Systems are automatic and intuitive – turning on and off with the airplane’s master switch. The ATGS and pilot need only glance at the screen that is already aligned with the normal direction an ATGS looks. The same unit can also record continuous movies or takes snapshots for immediate transmission to fire fighters below, IC leaders and the GIS team.
Operation is as easy as looking out a window.  The IR display turns on with the plane, there are no moving parts/controls and interpration is immediate without any trainings.
IR is the easiest for most firefighters to understand. Due to their small size, IR cameras can now be easily mounted with clear air vision. A good quality camera, such as the FLIR EVSx, will mount behind a normal inspection panel drilled with a quarter sized hole. This camera resides inside the plane away from the wind & elements, and has a clear air view. The fix mount is aligned to look the same direction as an Air Attack looks from the right window – perpendicular to flight, slightly down and forward of the right wing. This is called SLIR – Side Looking InfraRed.