IFSJ Exclusive: An inside looks at Teledyne FLIR’s SIRAS drone

SIRAS Application Photo 1

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Michael Walters, Vice President Product Management LWIR Uncooled Cameras, Teledyne FLIR, talks about the SIRAS drone designed for search and rescue

The unmanned aerial vehicle market is continuously evolving as use and related benefits become more integral to professionals’ daily lives. SIRAS is a purpose-built drone providing pilots with a flexible, data secure, non-geofenced, airframe that features a swappable, high-performance payload.

SIRAS has been designed for professional drone pilots in public safety and industrial inspection roles who must respond quickly and fly when and where they need to, without risk to their data. It is also a platform that through its quick-connect swappable payload can grow along with the pilot and their organization. This makes the drone a perfect solution for the newly trained as well as the most demanding experienced pilots.

Search and rescue

Drones, particularly those equipped with thermal-visible sensors, are useful for firefighting and search and rescue missions in that they provide operational flexibility, whether at night or in challenging lighting conditions, so operators can keep a safe standoff distance when surveilling an area, looking for missing people, or identifying hot spots in structure or wildfires.  Thermal cameras can see through smoke and when equipped on a drone, provide increased visual awareness and operator safety which helps to decrease flight and mission time.

SIRAS provides an aerial perspective unique to drones, supplementing the use of handheld thermal imagers on the ground. Furthermore, with no geofencing capabilities, public safety professionals can have peace-of-mind knowing they can fly the airframe to where it needs to be to complete the mission.

Special features

SIRAS includes a thermal and visible sensor and is built for improved data security (does not include Wi-Fi or cellular capability). The existing SIRAS dual thermal and visible payload includes a visible 16MP camera with up to 128x zoom to pinpoint details. The companion 640×512 pixel high-resolution FLIR Boson infrared thermal camera provides clear imagery, 5x digital zoom, and temperature-measuring capabilities. It is the only drone that offers the patented FLIR MSX technology, adding visible edges and outlines to thermal imagery and providing critical information in real time.

The airframe provides high quality imagery, mission flexibility, secure data, and compatibility with FLIR Thermal Studio and photogrammetry software such as Pix4D enable professionals to get the job done. 

Secure recording

Public safety budget constraints and mission profiles drove specific features including the IP-54 rating and hot-swappable batteries put in place to maximize efficiency. SIRAS was primarily designed for ease of use, to quickly get up in the air, and for improved security. It does not connect to the internet, local Wi-Fi networks, or cellular networks, other than to comply with future RemoteID regulations.

This is to prevent pathways that may enable third parties to view or upload data and images. All data is stored in high resolution on the aircraft SD card where low resolution data can be stored on the controller SD card. Its capabilities make it a difficult airframe to hack remotely while protecting the drone data.

Also, SIRAS is not subject to geo-fencing, so control remains in the hands of the pilot. Public safety personnel especially need to launch quickly and get the mission completed wherever they are, as lives and property are often on the line. They cannot wait precious seconds to get permission from an entity in a foreign country to fly where and when they need to.

SIRAS enables pilots to launch within a minute of power up but it is the responsibility of the pilot to know where and when it is safe to fly. It is designed for first responders looking for a reliable, high-performance, data secure airframe with dual visible-thermal payloads from a trusted USA-based brand.  


The quick-connect Vue TV128 payload features patented MSX technology, adding visible-light outlines to thermal imagery to provide critical information in real time. The visible 16MP resolution camera zooms up to 128x to pinpoint details, offering 30 percent more pixels on target at max zoom in comparison to the leading China-based brand. A companion 640×512-pixel, radiometric FLIR Boson provides sharp thermal imagery, 5x digital zoom, accurate temperature-measurement, and compatibility with FLIR Thermal Studio analysis software.

The onboard processing capabilities of SIRAS enable pilots to use multispectral dynamic imaging, known as MSX. This feature adds visible light details to thermal images in real time for greater clarity, embedding edge and outline detail from the visible camera onto thermal readings. Unlike image fusing (merging of a visible light and thermal image), MSX does not dilute the thermal image or decrease thermal transparency. In search and rescue and fire scenarios, being able to read signs and labels within full thermal imaging provides greater clarity and context for the pilot to complete the mission.

The SIRAS controller includes the Go Fly application that allows pilots to manually fly, plan missions, map missions, and control the aircraft payload. The imagery is compatible with FLIR Thermal Studio and is or will be compatible with industry-leading photogrammetry software such as Pix4D.  

Industrial applications

SIRAS represents is a full-feature airframe for FAA Part 107-certified pilots who require a reliable, secure, easy-to-fly platform for commercial/industrial and public safety missions. All Teledyne FLIR tools work as independent devices or as part of an ecosystem tied together through the use of software including FLIR Thermal Studio.

SIRAS is no different and provides additional, valuable data from the air to complement the Teledyne FLIR line of handheld inspection tools from thermal to acoustic imagers.  SIRAS offers an alternative to the current market leading professional drones with all the professional grade features and security pilots have come to expect from Teledyne FLIR.

This article was originally published in the November edition of IFSJ. To read your FREE digital copy, click here.

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