Posted by John McHalePARIS, 25 June 2011. Northrop Grumman officials are using the Star SAFIRE 380-HD electro-optical/infrared sensor from FLIR Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: FLIR) in Wilsonville, Ore., for flight operations on their Firebird intelligence gathering air system, which can be a manned or unmanned platform.FLIR's Star SAFIRE 380-HD is a 15-inch durable turret, gyro-stabilized, multi-spectral, digital high-definition optical sensor designed for use on unmanned aircraft systems (UASs), helicopters, and fixed-wing aircraft. The system weighs less than 100 pounds and can run eight payloads simultaneously, including short wave infrared (SWIR) and a laser designator.For more on FLIR's SWIR technology, read "SWIR, infrared HD, and low-light images of France from 17,000 feet."During the Joint Force Command's (JFCOM's) Empire Challenge three of the FLIR systems were installed on Firebird and operated continuously to meet the flight duration requirements. "Northrop Grumman completed a detailed assessment for multi-spectral EO/IR sensors suitable for multiple missions," says Rick Crooks, director of special projects and Firebird program manager for Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. "We selected the Star SAFIRE 380-HD for its performance, capability and ease of integration. FLIR has provided outstanding support to the Firebird program and the key full motion video assets used during Empire Challenge."