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Sagebrush Completes First Thermal Imager Flight Test
Apr 2001
ALBURQUERQUE, N.M., April 30 -- The new AERO 20/2X Airborne Thermal Imager successfully completed its first flight test last week in Albuquerque, N.M., on an OH-58 Helicopter. The AERO 20/2X is a two-axis, stabilized gimbal system with an uncooled thermal imaging camera, based on proven Raytheon Commercial Infrared technology.
    The stabilized gimbal is manufactured by Sagebrush Technology Inc., of Albuquerque, and the thermal imager payload is supplied by EMX Inc., and Arion International Inc., both of Orlando, Florida. EMX is a licensed Raytheon Commercial Infrared original equipment manufacturer.
    "This successful flight test is the culmination of a 9-month effort between the three companies to bring a low cost, high tech, airborne gimbal thermal imager system to the search and rescue, and law enforcement market," said Joe Zmuda, president of Sagebrush. "We are very pleased with the results and it validates our new design approach to an affordable, 2-axis, stabilized gimbal system."
    "We were confident that our Raytheon uncooled thermal imager would perform well, due to its mature technology," said Tim Ario, CEO of Arion International Inc. and EMX Inc. "However, the two-bladed OH-58 Helicopter represents one of the toughest vibration profiles that a stabilized system will ever see, in an airborne environment. The Sagebrush gimbal system stabilization was rock-solid during the flight test, and allowed the thermal imager to present a very smooth thermal video picture to the operator during all phases of the flight test."
    The three companies will continue to work together towards FAA certification of the system on a number of different helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft. In addition, the team will begin marketing the AERO 20/2X to both US and international customers, and will accept orders for delivery later this year.

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