StarSAFIRE III / HD (AN/AAQ-21/22)


An advanced multi-sensor EO payload from the USA is the FLIR Systems StarSAFIRE. The StarSAFIRE III version is the most advanced, some 800 are used on 35 reconnaissance and surveillance platforms. StarSAFIRE uses five axis stabilization and high power optics, including Super Narrow field of view, to support operation at extended range. The payload can be configured with 6 (SAFIRE III) or 7 (SAFIRE HD) sensors including 3rd Generation FLIR, CCDTV with haze penetration filters, I2CCD, color spotter scope, laser pointer and illuminator, and laser rangefinder.

The Star SAFIRE HD system uses a 1,500 mm focal length for mid-wave IR and coaxial “two-in-one” telescope for the visible wavelengths sensors. The system facilitates high precision geo-pointing, directing the payload to look at exact geographic coordinates. Feeds from multiple sensors can be fused into a single image, to obtain optimal contrast and presentation of hidden details, generating up to x3 more information compared to conventional NTSC systems. Multiple video feeds from the different sensors can be transmitted simultaneously over a single datalink for further processing, storage and display. The system carries both wide-area and narrow-beam covert laser illuminators to support covert scene illumination and target pointing.