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Frequently Asked Questions  (in the cockpit)
  What is infrared thermal imaging?
What is EVS?
Is there any special pilot training required to operate the camera?
Is the T6-200 supplied with a display?
What's the benefit of thermal imaging in the cockpit?
Does infrared operate the same way as Night Vision Goggles (NVG's)?
Why thermal imaging if I already have NVG's?
Why thermal imaging if I already have a Synthetic Vision System (SVS)?
How does thermal imaging increase safe flight operations?
What does the T6-200 see in total darkness?
What does the T6-200 see in daylight?
Can the T6-200 look into the Sun?
How does rain, fog and snow affect image performance?
Operating in Winter?
Frequently Asked Questions  (about the T6-200 camera system)
  Is the T6-200 export controlled?
What are the T6-200 specifications?
Can the video format be changed from NTSC to Pal (or Pal to NTSC)?
What is the occasional clicking sound made by the T6-200 camera?
What material is used for the sensor window and how should it be cleaned?
Is there any maintenance required for sustained operation?
What is the MTBF (mean time between failure)?

What about environmental exposure?
What About RFI/EMI and Lightening Strike?
What are some special purpose applications for T6-200 EVS?
Frequently Asked Questions  (about purchasing, installation and business)
  What is the cost of the T6-200 camera system?
How do I purchase the T6-200 imaging system?
Does the video format (NTSC / PAL) need to be specified when an order is placed?
Can the video format be changed from NTSC to PAL or vise - versa?

How can I equip my aircraft with the T6-200 imaging system?
Is any aircraft reconfiguration required?
How is the T6-200 camera mounted to the airframe?
What is the standard warranty period for the T6-200 camera system?
Can I become a dealer or a partner?
   
 
In the Cockpit
What is infrared thermal imaging?    top

Simply put, infrared thermal imaging cores detect differences in heat within any given environment instead of differences in light as video cameras do. Infrared cameras see what video cameras and human eyes cannot, electromagnetic radiation emitted by all objects above "absolute zero" within the infrared spectrum. The cameras processors collects this data and generates a thermal signature of all objects within the scene onto a video display.

What is EVS?   top

T6-200 EVS (Enhanced Vision System) is designed as a certified aircraft appliance which utilizes thermal imaging technology to increase a pilots situational awareness while flying at night, or in smoke, haze, and light fog.

Is there any special pilot training required to operate the camera?   top

No, the system is designed for single pilot use and only requires the pilot to turn it on and trim the camera in the preferred position via a console mounted toggle switch.

Is the T6-200 supplied with a display?   top

Generally no, the T6-200 system is comprised of the camera assembly and associated wiring harness. Most of todays aircraft are equipped with onboard displays originally incorporated into the console by the manufacture. If your aircraft is not equipped with a display monitor, we can assist you in offering recommendations, each aircraft is different and there are many solutions for display integration.

What's the benefit of thermal imaging in the cockpit?  top

Thermal imaging lets you see when flying at night, or in smoke, haze, and light fog. It will enhance a pilots situational awareness in adverse environmental conditions in times when he ordinarily would not be able to without it. The T6-200 imaging system offers the most powerful imaging technology at an affordable price which complements Synthetic Vision Systems (SVS) and is a superb alternative to Night Vision Goggle (NVG) technologies.

Does Infrared operate the same way as Night Vision Goggles (NVG's)?  top

There're entirely different! Both systems support excellent technologies, and given the application, both have their strengths and weaknesses.

Infrared technology is based on a heat sensitive "focal plane array" ([FPA] microbolometer sensors) which are sensitive to minute variations in heat, natural light is not a factor at all. As a scene is directed upon the FPA through the cameras sensor lens millions of heat sensitive pixels compile the data into a thermal signature of the scene. Video processors then deliver the thermal signature onto a video display revealing all objects and the surrounding terrain as a black and white image.

Night Vision Goggle technology is based on light-amplification whereby the system relies on the available light in the surrounding area in order for the goggles to deliver an image to the pilot. This technology converts a small amount of light into electrical energy which passes through a thin substrate causing the release of more electrons. As these electrons are bounced off a phosphor screen an image appears as a green-hue which is a re-creation of the scene.

Why Thermal Imaging if I already have NVG's?   top

As described, these two technologies are completely different. As Infrared sees all objects above "absolute zero" without the presents of light at all, NVG's can only see objects with the presents of small amounts of "surrounding light", additionally, it's important to note that NVG’s may direct the pilot into a false sense of security since illuminating conditions may deteriorate to a point where visibility through the goggles is no longer possible or may actually shut-down when encountering denser atmospheric conditions leaving the pilot unaided.

Both systems are powerful technologies in the cockpit and only serve to complement each other as visual aids for enhancing situational awareness.

Why thermal imaging (EVS) if I already have a Synthetic Vision System (SVS)?   top

Synthetic Vision System (SVS) is an excellent technology built on an array of database data which compiles information in the form of a 3D geographical image on a display to provide situational awareness for the pilot. However, the sense of security is limited to the most recent update to the database which supports the system. EVS provides the pilot with a real time video image while validating the SVS environment and displaying potentially dangerous obstacles that the SVS can never know to exist.

How does thermal imaging increase safe flight operations?   top

By enabling the pilot to accurately see the advancing terrain and all surrounding obstacles which may pose a threat to the aircraft and passengers. Spatial orientation and situational awareness dramatically reduce undue stress and fatigue on the pilot.

What does the T6-200 see in total darkness?   top

Simply put, everything you can't! Since it's designed to see the heat signature of all objects, and not the reflective light, nothing can hide from its field of view in that the imager requires no light at all. A good example of what the T6-200 can see in total darkness can be seen here.

What does the T6-200 see in daylight?   top

Everything you can but in a different way, for example, you could be cruising over a field with all kinds of wild life around and not see a single one of them. The T6-200 will see the thermal signature of all objects including animals where they will be displayed in full form on the screen. They can be easily tracked within environments where they would ordinarily be camouflaged or otherwise concealed from view.

Can the T6-200 look into the Sun?   top

Although we do not recommend intentionally viewing the sun, looking at the sun will not permanently damage the sensor. It may, however, take some time for the camera to recover. The amount of time needed for recovery depends on how long the camera is exposed to the sun. The longer the exposure, the longer the recovery time needed. The next flat-field correction (FFC- every 2 minutes) will help reduce image artifacts caused by imaging the sun. When flying into a setting Sun, the camera should be trimmed down until the Sun is no longer within the cameras field of view (FOV).

How does rain, fog and snow affect image performance?   top

The T6-200 can produce a clear image in total darkness. It needs no light at all to produce an excellent image of the scene of an advancing terrain and a superb instrument for numerous night vision applications.

Although thermal imaging technologies can see in total darkness, through light fog, light rain and snow, the transmittance of infrared radiation is dependent upon many variables. Even in clear skies, inherent atmospheric absorption places limits on how clear the infrared camera can see. In the end, under marginal conditions the thermal imager will maintain the image of the terrains scene longer than the pilot can.

Operating in winter?   top

Humid air acts as a “shield” for infrared radiation. Summer month atmospheres usually have a higher attenuation compared to winter months due to increased humidity levels. Therefore, assuming normal atmospheric conditions, you will be able to see equally as well if not better than in summer.
About The T6-200 Camera
Is the T6-200 export controlled?   top

Yes, because of the high resolution and video frame rate (full-rate) of the T6-200's imaging core it falls under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Commerce where an export license must be applied for.

The International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) details the regulations governing the export of defense related materials and technologies. The U.S. Munitions List (USML) categorizes goods and technologies governed by the ITAR.

In June 2008 the U.S. government made a determination that thermal imaging cameras with a resolution of "640x480" and "full frame rates" will be USML classified under the ITAR. As a result, the T6-200 and all related technical data information are controlled for export purposes to the ITAR. T6-200 data provided on this web site has been reviewed for public release, and is not export-controlled. It is a violation of the ITAR to export or re-export the T6-200 camera system or related technical data (other than data approved for public release) without first receiving authorization to do so from the U.S. Department of State.

What are the T6-200 specifications?   top

Complete specifications can be found here.

Can the video format be changed from NTSC to Pal (or Pal to NTSC)?   top

Yes, the T6-200 is delivered with the video format pre-programed to NTSC. If you prefer the video format in PAL instead you must notify us prior to confirming an order.

What is the occasional clicking sound made by the T6-200 camera?   top

There is a shutter between the camera sensor and the lens. This shutter is used to perform a flat-field correction, or FFC. During FFC, the shutter presents a uniform temperature source to each detector element in the array. While imaging the flat-field source, the camera updates the offset correction coefficients, resulting in a more uniform image after the process is complete. The camera will preform FCC every 2 minutes for 2 seconds where a small green icon appears on the display during the recalibration cycle.

What material is used for the sensor window and how should it be cleaned?   top

The sensor window used is a silicon substrate, with an anti-reflection (A/R) hard coating. Without an A/R coating, the responsively (sensitivity) of the sensor would be significantly degraded, as the transmission of a bare silicon window is about 50% across the infrared spectrum. The A/R coating has an integral long pass (solar blocking) filter. This window may be cleaned with a soft cloth dampened with clean water.

Is there any maintenance required for sustained operation?    top

No, there is no maintenance required for sustained operation.

What is the MTBF (mean time between failure)?   top

The imaging core has one moving part (the shutter). The MTBF is driven by the shutter, although the installed core is a relatively new development, based on earlier versions configurations can be made that exceed the 40,000 hour service life of the early version.

What about environmental exposure?   top

The T6-200 externally mounted camera and wiring harness assemblies have been laboratory tested to DO-160/G levels. The camera assembly is a composite fabrication with epoxy top coated surfaces and will withstand severe temperature differences within harsh and abrasive environments. The imaging core is supported within a nitrogen purged containment body and the viewing lens assembly is sealed to IP-67 levels with an advanced surface treatment of plasma electrolytic oxidation material called Keronite. The Keronite process produces hard, dense ceramic surface layers which enhance the durability, resistance and corrosion protection in the most demanding environments.

What about RFI/EMI and Lightening Strike?    top

The T6-200 composite turret and housing assemblies are chemically coated to protect against EMI/RFI emissions from entering in or out of the housing assemblies. Further, the composite turret housing offers lightening strike protection by supporting an high energy rapid discharge path into the airframe hull structure.

The wiring harness assembly is designed with self sealing CPC and SMA connectors and fully shielded Teflon jacketed cable assemblies.

What are some special purpose applications for EVS?   top

Some special purpose applications can be found here.
About Purchasing, Installation and Business
What is the cost of the T6-200 camera system?   top

Pricing varies depending on aircraft type and available approvals, go to support page here.

How do I purchase the T6-200 imaging system?   top

The FLIR camera system is sold direct from the factory, go to support page here.

Does the video format (NTSC / PAL) need to be specified when an order is placed?   top

Generally no, the format is factory set to NTSC (US standard), however, if the PAL format is perefred (European standard) it should be specified when an order is placed.

Can the video format be changed from NTSC to PAL or vise - versa?   top

Yes, however the camera must be returned to the factory for reconfiguration.


How can I equip my aircraft with the T6-200 imaging system?   top

With an existing STC or a field approval, you can review the field approval process here.

Is any aircraft reconfiguration required?   top

No, unlike night visison goggles (NVG's) which require instrument lighting reconfiguration.


How is the T6-200 camera mounted to the airframe?   top

Go to the installations page
here.

What is the standard warranty period for the T6-200 camera system?   top

Warranty information can be found here.

Can I become a dealer or a partner?   top

Yes, visit our dealer/partnership page here.
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