Posted by John Keller
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala., 16 May 2013. U.S. Army helicopter avionics experts needed a multi-sensor payload for the Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk utility helicopter. They found their solution from FLIR Systems Inc. in Wilsonville, Ore.
The Army Contracting Command at Redstone Arsenal, Ala., awarded FLIR Systems a potential $82.4 million contract Tuesday for at least 66, and as many as 218, of the company's Talon forward-looking infrared (FLIR) multi-sensor electro-optics systems for the Black Hawk helicopter.
The UH-60 Black Hawk is a four-bladed, twin-engine, medium-lift utility helicopter designed to perform a variety of missions, ranging from tactical transport, electronic warfare, and special operations.
The FLIR Systems Talon sensor payload can operate no only on the UH-60 helicopter, but also on a variety of fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, ships, small boats, and land vehicles. It comes in a lightweight, gyro-stabilized 9-inch turret that contains as may as six separate sensors with digital video.
Its sensors include infrared sensor, color CCD camera, low-light camera, laser pointer or laser illuminator, laser range finder, and inertial measurement unit.
Imagers include a continuous-zoom 640-by-480-pixel infrared camera and two electro-optical options -- color camera and combination color and low-light camera for high-resolution imagery during the day or at night.
The sensor provides extreme low-light capability in sub-quarter moon conditions; it works in zero ambient light conditions together with a laser illuminator.
The Talon sensor system also supports range-to-target, target geolocation, and GeoLock capability, and works with the UH-60's onboard navigation systems. The sensor payload helps UH-60 crews identify targets using night-vision devices while remaining invisible to others.
Applications for the Talon sensor system include surveillance; reconnaissance; target acquisition and tracking; force protection; search and rescue; pursuit and patrol; drug interdiction; mine detection; and environmental monitoring.