FLIR Tricks Out ATVs With Spy Gear


PARIS -- FLIR, makers of many of the sensor pods seen under U.S. drones, have turned their attention to outfitting all terrain vehicles with similar sorts of spy gear for border patrols and special forces teams.

FLIR unveiled the Command Post Cerberus sensor system integrated onto a Polaris light tactical all terrain vehicle here at the Eurosatory international land warfare conference. The ATV itself isn't new, and neither are the sensors. What is new is packaging FLIR's sensor suite onto an ATV that a special forces team could easily load onto a CH-47 helicopter to rapidly deploy.

FLIR engineers installed a stabilized gimbal with thermal and day camera, laser rangefinder and laser illuminator/pointer. The systems features  HD color, either a sea surveillance radar or any of the FLIR Ranger radars, and a network video recorder.

It was designed for wireless streaming to remote locations. A driver and passenger can view the feeds on a Panasonic rugged tabled PC installed in front of the passenger seat.

FLIR builds three variants of the Cerberus. The MX, TX and LX will vary in the length of its range, quality of the imager, and the type of radar.

Polaris' ATV can reach speeds up to 65 miles per hour with a mission endurance of 24 hours.

However, the Command Post Cerberus was designed to be installed onto multiple vehicles. For example, border patrols can install the system onto a pick-up truck.

FLIR spokesman James Pinsky could not confirm what countries have contacted the company since it was released this week. However, he said he could see potential interest coming from countries like India and Pakistan looking to provide their border patrol units with sensor equipment.

Lets also not forget the potential these ATVs could provide to some extremely wealthy hunters. Bambi could run but she couldn't hide.

-- Mike Hoffman

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