"For the honest, clear and objective investigation"
( NON-PROFIT )

ESPAÑOL

We are very glad to present here all the evidences and the material that was very hard to
get in some part and we hope you can understand all the examples, charts and graphics.

If you have any comments or questions including critics we appreciate your interest
Please don't hesitate writing to us at any time and we will be glad to answer your posts

Cap. Alejandro Franz
Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Researcher
director@alcione.org


Mexican Air Force FLIR's video lights are not UFO's.

They are now confirmed to be oil well gas flames.
The AN/APS 143 Radar video is unavailable and the
targets detected could be vehicles on the Yucatan's
peninsula highways as it is explained ahead

PART II
(updated august 16 2009)


http://www.machtres.com/mex-c26a.jpg
Mexican Air Force Merlin C-26A
(click here or image to view full size 1.3MB)


Burning gas flares at NOHOCH-A oil platform
located in the CANTARELL OIL COMPLEX 
     Video caption from FLIR STAR SAFIRE II video lights
    CAMERA WAS AIMING TOWARD CANTARELL OIL COMPLEX
 
Some of many Oil Wells located at Cantarell's Oil Field and a FLIR's image caption

ALCIONE did a recreation flight on january 13 2006

You can see for yourself that the Oil Wells are real
and located in front of Ciudad del Carmen City here:
(When on page use mouse scroll button to Zoom in & out)

MapMachine


Click here or in the image and you will be directed to
National Geographic Maps exactly over Cantarell Oil Field
http://maps.nationalgeographic.com/map-machine#s=h&c=19.397953948267723, -92.0438003540039&z=12

THIS IS A VERIFIABLE INFORMATION AND PROOF ABOUT THE MYSTERY
AROUND THE MEXICAN MILITARY AUTHORITIES WHO COULDN'T SOLVE
THIS MYSTERY THAT DOESN'T NEED ANY HIGH SKILL TO BE SOLVED

THIS IMAGE BELOW FROM GOOGLE EARTH (2006)
SHOWS THE CANTARELL OIL RIGS NAMED NEPTUNO
AKAL-J, AKAL-C AND NOHOCH-A

A COMMON SENSE GRAPHIC EXPLANATION IS ENOUGH
TO DETERMINE A DIFFERENCE AND A SIMILITUDE

THIS COMPOSITE IMAGE BELOW SHOWS THE SIMILARITY
OF THE FLIR LIGHTS AND OIL WELLS LIGHTS IN A ROTATED
GOOGLE MAP CAPTURE FOR BETTER COMPREHENSION

COLOR IMAGE FROM GOOGLE EARTH 2006
NOW AVAILABLE AT
National Geographic Maps
http://maps.nationalgeographic.com

BLACK AND WHITE IMAGE FLIR SCREEN CAPTURE

GEOGRAPHICAL COORDINATES OF AKAL-J AND AKAL-C FLARES

AKAL-J
W 92 deg, 4 min, 44.06 sec and  N 19 deg, 25 min, 27.3 sec
W 92 deg, 4 min, 42.4 sec and    N 19 deg, 25 min, 44.9 sec
W 92 deg, 4 min, 44.51 sec and N 19 deg, 25 min, 34.2 sec
   W 92 deg, 4 min, 44.2 sec and    N 19 deg, 25 min, 31.26 sec

AKAL-C
 W 92 deg, 2 min, 34.68 sec and  N 19 deg, 23 min, 46.29 sec
  W 92 deg, 2 min, 34.41 sec and   N 19 deg, 23 min, 50.22 sec
W 92 deg, 2 min, 34.15 sec and  N 19 deg, 23 min, 53.2 sec
W 92 deg, 2 min, 30.43 sec and  N 19 deg, 24 min, 2.95 sec
 


AMPLIFIED IMAGE OF THE BLACK AND WHITE IMAGE ABOVE
 


 

Mexican Air Force specialists were incapable to discover that the FLIR lights source
was the Cantarell oil well flames that burn off on daily basis in the Gulf of México

RECENT INFORMATION CONFIRMS THAT CAPT. FRANZ'S OPINION ON MAY 2004
WAS CORRECT ABOUT THE MEXICAN AIR FORCE TO BE IN A VERY BAD SHAPE

CAPT. FRANZ WAS DEFAMED BY THE UFO BELIEVER JAIME MAUSSAN AND WAS
EXPOSED IN NATIONAL AND WORLD WIDE TELEVISION AND RADIO SHOWS AS
TO BE A CITIZEN NOT LOYAL TO HIS COUNTRY FOR TELLING THE TRUTH IN
UFOUPDATES LIST ABOUT THE MEXICAN AIR FORCE HAVING LACK OF TRAINING
AND THAT HIS PILOTS WERE FLYING NO MORE THAN 10 HOURS A MONTH
RESULTING IN LOW EXPERIENCE AND RECOGNITION OF THE OIL WELL AREA
_______________________________________________________________________

Mexico: Defense department equipment and armament outdated
January 3, 2009
M3 Report
El Universal (Mexico City)
1/2/09
RIGHT SIDE NEWS

The Chief of Staff of Mexico's Department of Defense (Sedena) estimates that the military
would only be able to carry out continuous combat, externally or internally for 12 days with
the armament presently available.  The armored units, it is estimated, would use up their
firepower in nine days and the air branch, in five days.  The department advised that the 594
night vision devices and 3,095 GPS units used by Special Forces in combat against drug cartels
"have already completed their period of service," being between five and 13 years old.

The shortage and fatigue of personnel in the ranks of both the Army and Air Force are
evident and reaching "unimaginable levels" in practically all areas of operations.
As a final note, the department revealed that only 45 air-to-air missiles are available,
amounting to one day's combat.
Source: http://m3report.wordpress.com/2009/01/02/mexico-defense-department-equipment-and-armament-outdated/
_______________________________________________________________________

Capt. Franz's Oil Well Theory was uploaded to ALCIONE's web page since may 14
2004 and posted at UfoUpdates  in may 26 of 2004 where nobody believed him and
ignored his more than 35 years of experience as pilot and Air Traffic Controller also
as researcher since 1963 by his results in other UFO cases he researched and
proved many hoaxes not as a "debunker" but as a humble 'demystifier'.

Two Capt. Alejandro Franz`s cases are mentioned as TOP reads in 2004
UFO UpDates Archive Top 20 Reads 2004

Nevertheless Capt.Franz posted to UfoUpdates in 2003 that he had a close encounter
on october 1974 and he had no memories of what hapened in 5 or 6 hours he lost that day.

John Velez, a self-alleged abductee and friend of Jaime Maussan was his worst
attacker about a case related to a colision between a DC9 and a UFO in 1994

 Capt. Franz exposed:

AEROMEXICO'S AIRPLANE COLLIDED
WITH A UFO BEFORE LANDING IN 1994!
TRUE OR FALSE?
http://www.alcione.org/OVNI94_engx.html

He was called to be a ¨Debunker" and a "Pelicanist" when he proposed his theory
with enough information, data and documents and making a question not a
definitive conclusion. UFOs Or Simply Oil Well Flames?

HERE IS PART OF CAPT. FRANZ'S
FIRST POST TO UFOUPDATES LIST
http://ufoupdateslist.com/2004/may/m27-011.shtml
Operated by Errol Bruce-Knapp

 

UFOs Or Simply Oil Well Flames?

From: Capt. Alejandro Franz <alfafox.nul>
Date: Wed, 26 May 2004 22:07:12 -0600
Fwd Date: Thu, 27 May 2004 08:49:28 -0400
Subject: UFOs Or Simply Oil Well Flames?

"The lights (UFO's) shown in the video of march 05, 2004 provided
by the Mexican Air Force could be the heat source produced by
the flames of the oil wells located in the Oil field Cantarell
between 50 km to 90 km in the Gulf of Mexico, very close to the
shores of Ciudad del Carmen city in the Campeche's State and
within the range of the C26A FLIR camera at the moment of the
strange sighting."

"The objects (lights) are in a fixed position with a dark
background (the sea) while the camera on board is following the
lights that are showing in the screen as a very brilliant source
of light. There is a great distortion as there is no sign of an
object but only light. Take your time and repeat the video. Try
to focus as if the lights are STEADY and the camera movements
shows when turning in his axis that the clouds move sometimes
rapidly and then suddenly they stop moving while the lights
(UFO's) never changed their formation neither their speed."
                          MORE....

          -----------------------------                    -------------------------                 ----------------------------

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________
 
 

Radar Targets May be Trucks On Yucatan Highway
http://ufoupdateslist.com/2004/jun/m01-002.shtml

 
From: Brad Sparks <RB47x.nul>
Date: Mon, 31 May 2004 17:16:42 EDT
Fwd Date: Tue, 01 Jun 2004 00:37:43 -0400
Subject: Radar Targets May be Trucks On Yucatan Highway

Mexico: Some Radar Targets May be Trucks On Yucatan Highway 186

Radar Analysis Followup - Mexican AF Case March 5, 2004

Thanks to a new map plotted by Dr. Bruce Maccabee I can follow
up on my suggestion yesterday that some but not all of the radar
targets that were tracked may have been trucks or vehicles
traveling 60 mph (52 knots) down Yucatan roads...........MORE



IMAGE SHOWS HOW THE AN/APS 143B(V) RADAR IS CAPABLE TO DETECT MOVING VEHICLES
THIS MEANS THE RADAR IS CAPABLE TO DETECT TARGETS AT LOW SPEEDS -10 TO 25KTS-
BECAUSE IT IS A MARITIME RADAR

THE AN/APS 143B(V) RADAR DOES NOT PROVIDE ALTITUDES OF MOVING TARGETS SO THEY
COULD HAVE BEEN MISTAKEN AS FLYING OBJECTS WHILE DETECTED AT GROUND LEVEL

Maritime surveillance radar experiences serious limitations imposed on their performance by
unwanted sea clutter. Sea clutter limits the performance of the radar, so it is vital to understand the
characteristics of sea clutter to improve the performance in detecting small targets. The amplitude
video voltage of collected digitized raw video consisting of targets and clutter of each radar sweep
must be measured and analyzed.

 The histogram from the collected samples of echo returns must be plotted, a comparison of the
amplitude histograms with Gaussian and Rayleigh distributions should be done. The analysis of
the recorded amplitude histogram could demonstrate for high resolution with low grazing angle
using horizontal polarization if the data distribution fits the log normal distribution. The study must
conclude the statistics of sea clutter vary with polarization, resolution cell size, sea state and
wind conditions. Of course México doesn't have the technology to perform such tests.


Radar Performance Parameters

Radar Performance parameters define what a radar does. Characteristics
describe how a radar achieves its performance. Features are desirable
characteristics. This tech note discusses the nature of the parameters
that define radar performance. 

Maximum Detection Range

False alarm detection plays a significant role in the effectiveness of a radar and its
maximum detection range. A false alarm is an event that erroneously signals the
presence of a radar target when there is no legitimate target. 

The maximum detection range of a radar is the longest distance from the radar to
a target at which the radar can reliably declare that the return signal from the target
has exceeded a set threshold. The return signal is usually very low in amplitude and
must be detected above the thermal noise level in the radar electronics. In well
designed radars, the thermal noise is quite low and small signal returns can be
detected reliably. This threshold is set based primarily on reducing false positives
(false alarms) that would occur on noise energy generated internally to the radar.

This noise is present in all radars and is called thermal noise because its amplitude
is a function of the radar temperature – higher temperature causes more noise. 

Many factors influence the ability of a radar to detect a target. The radar design itself,
the type of target (person, vehicle), what characteristics of the target determine its
measurability (size, speed), the distance from the radar to the target, the size of the
target (radar cross section), the environment between the radar and the target (rain, fog)
and the environment in the immediate vicinity of the target called clutter, like trees,
grass, building – they all compete with the target. 

Since the target must be detected in a background of noise and/or clutter, the likelihood
of  detecting a target on any given opportunity (look) is statistical, that is, it varies from
look to look. That is because the noise amplitude varies in a random manner from look
to look,  either adding to the target signal or subtracting from it. The statistical nature
of the target creates even more uncertainty. The Probability of Detection on any given
look is a measure of the likelihood of detecting the target, or of having the signal from
the target cross the previously mentioned detection threshold. 

The nature of the statistics of the noise, the target and the clutter are all different,
but can be described mathematically by complex equations which predict detection
range for various false alarm conditions, which are selected by the radar designer. 

All of the above factors affect the maximum detection range of a radar for a particular
target, and any testing for determining detection range, must account for the statistical
nature of the process by doing many trials to establish this parameter. 

False Alarm Rate

From the foregoing description, it seems that the detection range could be increased by
lowering the detection threshold to "see" lower signal levels. While this is true, the noise
environment described means that, on any given look, there is a finite probability that a 
noise spike could cross the threshold, causing a false alarm. Thus exists the classical
battle between sensitivity and false alarms; that is, the desire to increase the Probability
of Detection is offset by the resulting increase in the Probability of False Alarms. The latter
is generally quantified in time by using the parameter False Alarm Rate (FAR), which
expresses the false alarm probability as a function of time. Thus, all comprehensive radar
specifications contain a FAR requirement, say 2 or 3 per day, so that a radar operator is
not unduly distracted attending to an alarm that doesn’t really exist. This becomes very
important in security systems which combine many radars for perimeter or border protection
over long distances, because higher false alarm rates require more responders to chase
down the cause of an alarm. 

Revisit Time

Radar revisit time is the time it takes for the radar to complete its search for targets and
return to begin another search interval. For example, in a radar that goes around 360
degrees, it is the time for one revolution to be completed. Since the target detection
process is statistical, it follows that the more time the radar “looks” at an area where
there is a target, the sooner that target will be detected. Of course, the longer the
detection range, the longer period of time can be allocated to the detection process. 

Also, the slower target speeds can be allocated more detection time. For example, 
a crawling person may need many looks to establish detection, due to the very small
target size – but the crawler doesn’t travel very far during the process, so a relatively
long detection time is acceptable. A fast moving, vehicle should be detected quickly
or it will travel a long distance prior to detection. 

A short revisit time improves the detection process and also improves target tracking
after detection. Since target speed and direction are not controllable, more looks in a
given time will result in more accurate tracking of the target. 

Radar Resolution

The ability of a radar to detect and track a target is affected by the radar’s resolution, 
that is, how small of a "space" does the radar look at. Radar space is defined in four
dimensions – range, azimuth angle, elevation angle and speed. 

Not all radars measure in all these dimensions. For example, a police radar uses the
angle and speed dimensions, and doesn’t measure range to the vehicle. Generally,
a maritime navigation radar uses the angle and range dimensions, and doesn’t measure
speed because most returns from this radar are not moving. 

Almost all radars limit the area they look at in angle, because they use an antenna to
focus the energy on a suspected targeted area. This angle is two dimensional, horizontal
(azimuth) and vertical (elevation), generally expressed in degrees. A “pencil” beam is
symmetrical in both planes, but many radars will have a very narrow azimuth beam width,
depending on the radar’s function. For example, a maritime navigation radar will have a
very narrow azimuth beam width to very accurately trace a shoreline, but will have a very
wide elevation beam so the boat can pitch and roll in the waves but the land will still be
within the beam. 

Resolution in range is important to accurately determine the range to a target and to
eliminate clutter behind and in front of the target. Some radars measure the radial speed 
of the target directly using the Doppler principle, which states that the speed of a moving
object will affect the frequency of the return signed. This “speed resolution” feature is useful
to discriminate moving vs. stationary target. However, because wind-blown vegetation and
rain can appear to be moving, much care must be taken not to generate false alarms for 
ground radars susceptible to windblown clutter motion. 

Radars which have small resolution cells are called high resolution. High resolution radars
provide more clutter background rejection, which radars discriminate better against
competing returns from the ground, grass, trees, and rainfall. The drawback of high 
resolution is that it takes longer to search for a target because more resolution cells
must be looked at to find the target. 

Search Volume

Typically the more "space" a radar can search for targets, the more utility the radar 
provides to a surveillance system. A 360 degree radar may be more useful than one
that merely scans a sector, unless it is known with certainty where potential targets
exist. However, there is a trade off between available search volume and resolution.
It takes longer to search a given volume with a high resolution radar than a radar with
less resolution. Therefore, there is a constant battle between revisit time, resolution 
and search volume. 

Summary

This technical note has presented the major performance parameters which describe how
well a radar performs. The design of a radar is primarily one of performance tradeoffs,
involving range resolution, search volume, clutter rejection, false alarm rate and revisit time. 
These issues must be balanced against target types, frequency allocation regulations, 
size, weight, cost, power and environmental considerations, such as rain, snow, operating
temperatures, vibration and shock. A well designed radar represents a delicate balance
of many seemingly incompatible factors. 

Source: http://radarsystems.icxt.com/technology/technical-notes/radar-performance/
 


 
SOME NEWS

Mexican Airforce UFO Encounter


FOX News Mexican Air Force - CNN Headline News
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDOOZ_IPb6Y

05/11/04 - Associated Press -- AP -- 

MEXICO CITY - Mexican Air Force pilots filmed 11 unidentified flying objects in the skies over southern Campeche state, a Defense Department spokesman confirmed Tuesday.

A videotape made widely available to the news media on Tuesday shows the bright objects, some sharp
points of light and others like large headlights, moving rapidly in what appears to be a late-evening sky.

The lights were filmed on March 5 (2004) by pilots using infrared equipment. They appeared to be flying
at an altitude of about 3,500 meters (11,480 feet), and allegedly surrounded the Air Force jet as it conducted
routine anti-drug trafficking vigilance in Campeche. Only three of the objects showed up on the plane's radar.

'Was I afraid? Yes. A little afraid because we were facing something that had never happened before,'
said radar operator Lt. German Marin in a taped interview made public Tuesday.

'I couldn't say what it was ... but I think they're completely real,' added Lt. Mario Adrian Vazquez, 
the infrared equipment operator. Vazquez insisted that there was no way to alter the recorded images.

The plane's captain, Maj. Magdaleno Castanon, said the military jets chased the lights 'and I believe they
could feel we were pursuing them.'

When the jets stopped following the objects, they disappeared, he said.

A Defense Department spokesman confirmed Tuesday that the videotape was filmed by members of the Mexican Air Force. The spokesman declined to comment further and spoke on customary condition of anonymity.

The video was first aired on national television Monday night then again at a news conference Tuesday by
Jaime Maussan, a Mexican investigator who has dedicated the past 10 years to studying UFOs.

'This is historic news,' Maussan told reporters. 'Hundreds of videos (of UFOs) exist, but none had the
backing of the armed forces of any country. ... The armed forces don't perpetuate frauds.'

Maussan said Secretary of Defense Gen. Ricardo Vega Garcia gave him the video on April 22. --
 

The C26A that was flying East and the camera pointing toward
the oil rigs as it is shown below.


IMAGE SHOWING A PANORAMIC VIEW OF THE CANTARELL OIL COMPLEX AREA SCENARIO OF THE VIDEO EXPERIMENT
CONDITIONS AND THE COINCIDENCES BETWEEN THE C-26A FLIR LIGHTS RECORDED ON MARCH 05 2004 AT AN ALTITUDE OF
11,500 FT ON A HEADING OF 081º AND CAPT. FRANZ'S VIDEO RECORDING ON MAY 2005 AT 35,000 FT ON A HEADING OF 252º


YOU CAN SEE THE SIMILARITY OF THE LIGHTS AND THE SCREEN CAPTURES IN THIS  COMPOSED IMAGE  SHOWING AKAL- J AND AKAL- C
OIL RIGS WITH GOOGLE EARTH'S SATELLITE PICTURES FROM 2006. GOOGLE OIL RIGS COORDINATES AND PICTURES ARE NOT AVAILABLE
ANYMORE DUE TO INTERNATIONAL LAWS AGAINST TERRORISM BECAUSE THEIR POSITION WAS VERY ACCURATE AND MAY BE A THREAT

CLICK HERE
AND YOU CAN SEE THE CANTARELL OIL COMPLEX
BUT NOW ON NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MapMachine
http://maps.nationalgeographic.com/map-machine
#s=h&c=19.34224499677179, -92.07195281982423&z=11
 



THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION REGARDING THE MEXICO'S
UFO SIGHTING IS PART OF AN ARTICLE WRITEN BY JAMES SMITH

WE CONSIDER JAMES C. SMITH AS THE MOST IMPORTANT CONTRIBUTOR
TO SOLVE THIS FAMOUS CASE BECAUSE OF HIS KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS THAT
PROVIDED US OF VITAL DATA AND INFORMATION IN THIS CONTROVERSIAL THEORY
THAT DEMONSTRATED TO BE THE MOST CLOSE TO THE TRUE ORIGIN OF INFRARED
LIGHTS RECORDED BY THE MEXICAN AIR FORCE ON MARCH 05- 2004

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ALCIONE is deeply thankful for the aid provided
by James C. Smith who made many of the images analysis
in this investigation that helped us very much in our theory
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_kmske/is_2_11/ai_n29138826/?tag=content;col1

The Skeptics Society
Copyright © 1992–2009 Skeptic and its contributors.
Permission is granted to print, distribute, and post
with proper citation and acknowledgment.

The Mexican Air Force UFO Affair:
http://www.skeptic.com/eskeptic/04-07-24

Aliens, Ball Lightning, or Flares?
by James C. Smith,
an aerospace engineer in Fairfax, Virginia

Data used to generate the figure is available from U.S. Geological Survey,
EROS Data Center, Sioux Falls, SD.
Source for this dataset was the Global Land Cover Facility
http://glcf.umiacs.umd.edu.)


http://www.skeptic.com/eskeptic/04-07-24images/mexfig2.jpg
Figure 2. A Landstat image of the three oil platforms in the Campeche area off the coast
                of Mexico(Akal-C with 4 flares, Akal-J with 4 flares and Nohoch-A with 2 flares).
        The white lines indicate the narrow camera field during the video segment

The best match of existing flares to UFO images occurred with the
most complicated light grouping referred to as the “ten UFO” segment.
These lights match the flares on three oil platforms
(Akal-C with 4 flares, Akal-J with 4 flares and Nohoch-A with 2 flares).

The 3D model required an assumed altitude for each flare (which is very important for the very
narrow fields of view that they were videoed in). Both sea level and 100 foot flares were examined
and were used to produce diagrams (A) and (B) in Figure 3. Diagram (C) shows the resulting best
fits of high and low flares to the UFO images.

The video frame for the time (D) is printed below the flare diagrams for comparison.


FIG - 3 by James Smith
This 3D image from top to bottom: (A) Flares as they would appear at sea level.
(B) Additional flares as they would appear if located on 100 foot towers.
(C) Choosing the best match from the above two options
(D) A frame from the video image taken at 17:06:53 for comparison.

ANOTHER SITE
Mexican Air Force UFO affair: aliens, ball lightning, or flares?
http://goliath.ecnext.com/coms2/gi_0199-3546659/Mexican-Air-Force-UFO-affair.html
 




There is still a controversy about how and why the FLIR's
video lights recorded by Mexican Air Force C26A crew on
march 05, 2004 seem to be at the same altitude of 11,500ft

WE HOPE THE FOLLOWING EXAMPLE COULD HELP YOU TO GET A CLEAR IDEA OF HOW
DISTANT OBJECTS OR LIGHTS ARE SEEN AT THE SAME LEVEL OVER THE EARTH'S HORIZON
FROM AN AIRPLANE'S COCKPIT AT ANY ALTITUDE OR ANY GIVEN FLIGHT LEVEL

SEE THE FOLLOWING EXAMPLE


 
1

Real non edited picture where the
horizon is seen at the same flight level
2

We draw 11 points or lights at the horizon
trying to simulate the FLIR recorded image
3

We simulated that there is less day light and the
lights are still showing in the horizon with no
change in their position but letting the clouds
and part of the pilot's note board in the cockpit
4

We added some "infrared filter" (that really
should be in gray color and not green).
Later we are going to change it to gray
trying to get a better match of the pictures
5

We simulated less daylight letting the distant
lights in sight as much as posible.
6

We simulated that the daylight is almost gone and
let the distant lights still in sight over the horizon
7

We attached the FLIR's screen images to make
a comparison of the image's similarity
Objects located over the earth's surface at a great
distance and closer to the horizon are seen from
the cockpit or windows at the same height or
altitude in a leveled flight
8

We used contrast and changed the picture to a
gray scale color to see the similarity or match.
The lights or objects are seen at the same
level or altitude from the natural horizon from
the airplane's cockpit or windows 

 



Objects located over the earth's surface at a great distance
and closer to the horizon are seen from the airplane's cockpit
or windows at the same height or altitude in a leveled flight.

Here is the evidence.

Examples


The Horizon seems to be at the same level                   The Horizon seems to be at the same level


             The Horizon seems to be at the same level         The Horizon seems to be at the same level


 The Horizon seems to be at the same level                          The Horizon seems to be at the same level


  The Horizon seems to be at the same level

WE HOPE THAT THE ABOVE EXAMPLE COULD HELP YOU TO GET A CLEAR IDEA OF HOW
DISTANT OBJECTS OR LIGHTS ARE SEEN AT THE SAME LEVEL OVER THE EARTH'S HORIZON
FROM AN AIRPLANE'S COCKPIT OR WINDOWS AT ANY ALTITUDE OR FLIGHT LEVEL


Watch the latest video of Cantarell oil rigs area recorded on april 14, 2005.
The gas flame lights match and proof the real lights source of the march
05, 2004 FLIR video and is the most convincing evidence till today.

To see the video you need
windows media player
download

 HERE FREE

See Video Here


FLIR frame from video recorded april 14, 2005

Aerial view recorded with a SONY Handycam
Click here or any image to see video


SEE A LIST OF PICTURES FROM
THE VIDEO EXPERIMENT

see HERE the list of still frames from video experiment
of april 14, 2005 . You can also see the oil rig's structures


CLICK HERE for images list

CAMERA USED:
SONY ® HANDYCAM - DCR-TRV18- MINI-DV -
DIGITAL ZOOM 120X
LENS: CARL-ZEISS-VARIO-SONNAR



BURNING GAS AT NOHOCH-A OIL PLATFORM
LOCATED IN THE CANTARELL OIL COMPLEX 

     Video caption from FLIR STAR SAFIRE II video lights
    CAMERA WAS POINTING TOWARD CANTARELL OIL COMPLEX

WE FOUND SEVERAL SCREEN INDICATIONS OF THE FLIR MALFUNCTION
HERE SOME DISCREPANCIES SHOW THE ANNTENA ELEVATION ERROR
SEE ALSO LOOMING MIRAGE


The antenna elevation shows above horizon

 Antenna elevation shows -3° below the horizon

 Antenna elevation shows -4°below the horizon

Antenna elevation shows -6° below the horizon 


IF THE MOON WAS VISIBLE THEN THE OIL WELL INFRERED LIGHTS AT
141. NM WERE IN RANGE TO BE CAPTURED BY THE FLIR'S SENSORS
(USE A HORIZON'S DISTANCE CALCULATOR HERE)
LIGHTS HEIGHT +/- 200ft
Airplane altitude 11500ft
National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

THE MOON THAT DAY AT SAME TIME WAS 1° 44.526' ABOVE THE HORIZON


STARRY NIGHT PROGRAM SCREEN CAPTURE WITH MOON'S POSITION DATA
THE MOON RISED THAT DAY AT 05:02PM (17:02) SO AT 17:19PM WAS AT 1° 44.526' ABOVE THE HORIZON


WITH THIS INDICATION THE MOON SHOULD HAVE BEEN BELOW THE HORIZON



 

THE AN APS 143B(V)3 RADAR INSTALLED ON BOARD WAS HAVING DIFFICULTIES

SEE HERE THE 32 MINUTES FULL VIDEO COMMUNICATIONS TRANSCRIPT
 


APS-143B(V)3
Console


RADAR INSTALLED ON BOARD THE MEXICAN AIR FORCE C-26A

THE FLIR STAR SAFIREII FORM FLIR SYSTEMS WAS NOT WORKING PROPERLY
HERE YOU CAN SEE, HEAR AND READ THE 32 MIN ON BOARD COMMUNICATIONS TRANSCRIPTION


FLIR STAR SAFIREII


Click here or on image to view full size


LANDSAT-7 SATELLITE COMPOSITE PHOTO
OF THE OIL WELLS AT CANTARELL AND THE
SCREEN CAPTION OF THE C26A FLIR VIDEO


LANDSAT-7 SATELLITE PHOTO OF THE OIL WELLS AT CANTARELL
HERE ARE THREE FLIR'S SCREEN CAPTIONS AND WE CAN SEE THEY MATCH CORRECTLY



 
 
Any information hereby given, is the opinion of  Tim Wescott,
and not necessarily that of FLIR Systems Inc. Because,
although he worked for FLIR Systems for nearly 10 years, 
he now runs his own company. See: http://www.wescottdesign.com

Tim Wescott
Senior Systems Engineer. (1994-2003)
FLIR Systems Incorporated,
Portland OR (www.flir.com)
Resume: http://www.wescottdesign.com/tims_resume.html

Tim Wescott was system architect and software lead for FLIR's next generation of thermal
imaging equipment. This effort included selecting the DSP chip used on 12 boards in the
system, designing and coding the data acquisition and control algorithms for lens controllers,
gyros, optical dither stages and focus/field of view mechanisms, working with the mechanical
engineering team to insure the mechanisms will meet the control system goals, and designing
the image processing architecture.

Tim Wescott was control system architect and software lead for the Star SAFIRE II product, 
which features enhanced line-of- sight stability over its predecessor. This effort included
overall control algorithms for the gimbal as well as designing software and critical analog 
components of a DSP-based gyroscope control board that allowed for significantly improved
noise and DC offset performance.

Tim Wescott worked on the control algorithms concerning the gyroscopes, the lenses and the
optical dither stages as well as the FOV/focus mechanism. 

If anyone knows all there is to know about the SAFIRE-II  is Tim Wescott.

Information regarding the Mexican Air Force FLIR video from march 05, 2004:

Tim Wescott estimates, that the oil flares in question (AKAL-J, AKAL-C and NOHOCH-A)
is detectable by the SAFIRE II on the given distance, due to the size of the flares if the weather
conditions is good. He adds; that the conditions in the FLIR video appeared to be good.

Another thing which is equally interesting is that of theFLIR elevation problems.

Gyroscopes are stabilized with respect to the inertial frame of reference. 

In this case, we can assume that it is fixed to the Earth.

However the SAFIRE II has two modes:

One is a hybrid mode where the camera is stabilized against image vibration by the gyros,
but more or less fixed to the aircraft attitude for lower-speed motion. That this is the mode
which is active while these images is shot, is documented in the top-center of the images 
where you can see it says "INRPT", this 'hybrid mode'.

The second mode is denoted as "HDHLD", and this denotes inertially stabilized position
servo mode. In the video, the images in question are shot with respect to the aircraft's
attitude since it is in hybrid mode, but the camera is still stabilized against image vibration
by the gyros.

So the assumptions concerning that the camera must have been relative
to the mounting point on the fuselage, is hereby documented to be correct.

It is common practice for pilots to crank a few degrees of flap so they can cruise a little
slower while keeping the airplane leveled.

Reference source:

JREF Forums-Mexican Airforce films UFOs
http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?p=733066
 

 

Calculating the C-26A flight path with the FLIR's screen coordinates

The data at the point where two highly luminous lights appeared we can calculate
the distance between the C-26A airplane and the NOHOCH-A oil platform

FLIR COORDINATES AT DIFFERENT INTERVALS:

TIME
Lat
Lon
16:53:04 18 deg 22.03 min 91 deg 21.43 min
16:53:18
18 deg 22.48 min
91 deg 20.55 min
16:56:18
18 deg 22.37 min
91 deg 11.52 min
16:56:28
18 deg 23.05 min
91 deg 10.59 min
17:03:37
18 deg 26.47 min
90 deg 46.51 min
17:03:45
18 deg 26.52 min
90 deg 46.27 min
17:03:57
18 deg 26.54 min
90 deg 45.44 min
17:06:25
18 deg 27.06 min
90 deg 37.24 min
17:07:17
18 deg 28.41 min
90 deg 34.15 min
17:15:18
18 deg 32.04 min
90 deg 06.43 min
17:15:24 
18 deg 32.12 min
90 deg 06.14 min

CALCULATING THE C-26A FLIGHT PATH
 


NOHOCH - A OIL PLATFORM COORDINATES


FLIR'S SCREEN CAPTION AT 17:03:49 LOCAL TIME (CAMPECHE)


NOHOCH-A GAS BURNERS AT CANTARELL OIL FIELD


Great Circle Sailing

NOHOCH-A oil platform coordinates
A

B

FLIR coordinates at  17:03:49 Lcl

Great Circle Sailing 
Note: Enter degrees, minutes and decimal minutes or degrees, minutes, seconds and decimal seconds 
Origin (Initial Position) 
Latitude: 
degrees minutes seconds 
Longitude: 
degrees minutesseconds 
Destination (Final Position) 
Latitude: 
degrees minutes seconds 
Longitude:
degrees minutes seconds 
Results: 
Initial Course :  degrees true 
Great Circle Distance :  nautical miles


GEOGRAPHIC RANGE CALCULATOR
Geographic Range 
Given the Height of the Object or Light Above Sea Level and the Height of
the Eye of the Observer above Sea Level, Compute the Geographic Range 
Height of the Light or Object above Sea Level
(specify units with no comas): 


feet meters 
Height of the eye of the Observer above Sea Level
(specify units with no comas): 


feetmeters
 
                Geographic Range
(Distance to Object or Light):
(Nautical Miles) 

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA)
http://www.nga.mil/MSISiteContent/StaticFiles/Calculators/range.html



DISCLAIMER

Dr. Julio Herrera posted on sept 28, 2004.
From: Dr. Julio Herrera -herrera@nuclecu.unam.mx-
Date:  September 28, 2004 9:05 am
To:  Cap. Alejandro Franz -director@alcione.org-

Dear Cap. Franz,

I saw your page on the "oil flare hypothesis". I'm thankful that you gave me the
credit on the basis of something that was published at some web page, where
indeed it looks like it's my idea. However, I must clarify that's a misunderstanding
induced by the reporter who wrote the note. I can't tell where the idea originated.
In any case, I recognize this hypothesis may explain many things. What matters by
the end is to find out the true about this affair.

Best regards,
Julio Herrera

P.S.: I'm writing this in English so you may quote me if you wish.

Dr. Julio Herrera
Instituto de Ciencias Nucleares, UNAM
A.P. 70-543, Ciudad Universitaria
Del. Coyoacán, 04511 México, D.F. MEXICO
tel.: +52-55-56224672; FAX: +52-55-56162233
e-mail: herrera@nuclecu.unam.mx
 





COMPELLING AND VERIFIABLE EVIDENCE ABOUT THE STRANGE SIGHTING OF
THE MEXICAN AIR FORCE FLIR VIDEO TAKEN IN A DRUG SMUGGLING CAMPAIGN
ABOARD A C26A ON MARCH 05, 2004 IN THE STATE OF CAMPECHE, MEXICO.




Click on image to view full size

OFFICIAL DATA GATHERED FROM DIFFERENT U.S. GOVERNMENT SOURCES AND
BY THE HARD WORK RESULTS OF OPEN MINDED INVESTIGATORS WHO KINDLY
SUPPORTED MY THEORY CLEARLY DEMONSTRATES THAT THE OIL FLARES FROM
THE CANTARELL OIL WELL FIELD MATCH THE LIGHTS OF THE FLIR VIDEO AND THE
GEOGRAPHICAL COORDINATES FROM THE THE "SONDA DE CAMPECHE" LOCATED
IN THE GULF OF MEXICO IN FRONT OF CIUDAD DEL CARMEN CITY.


 

VIDEO RECORDED BY CAPT.FRANZ AT 34,000 ft HEADING 252°

THANK YOU TO ALL WHO BELIEVED IN ME AS I BELIEVE THAT IN THE
VAST UNIVERSE INTELLIGENT EXTRATERRESTRIAL LIFE COULD EXIST

SADLY THERE IS A MAJORITY OF UFO PSEUDO INVESTIGATORS WHO
ARE MAKING BUSINESS AND A CIRCUS WITH NO RESPECT TO HUMANITY

Capt. Alejandro Franz
director@alcione.org



Mexican Air Force C-26 Merlin aircraft

FUERZA AÉREA MEXICANA
MEXICAN AIR FORCE


( CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE )
FIRST IMAGE GENEROUSLY PROVIDED BY JAMES SMITH ( Tue., 08 Jun 2004)
IMAGE SOURCE: http://home.earthlink.net/%7Ebigvideo1/mexicoufo.jpg

THE PATH IS REPRESENTING A 22 MINUTES INTERVAL
THE IMAGE WAS CREATED FROM DATA AVAILABLE AT:
DMSP (Defense Meteorological Satellite Program)

DOWNLOAD SITE: http://dmsp.ngdc.noaa.gov/html/download_world_change_pair.html

Stable lights:
ARCHIVE USED TO EXTRACT DATA OF STABLE LIGHTS
http://dmsp.ngdc.noaa.gov/data/2000_change_pair/2000_stable_lights_version1_TIF.tar

TIFF FORMAT 13 MB COMPRESSED
700 MB UNCOMPRESSED

Stable lights have DN values from 0-63.
These numbers are the average DN values for the year.
Stable lights are the human settlements and gas flares combined.
DN value of 63 = saturated lights
DN value of 0 = no lights.
PROGRAM USED TO VIEW AND LOCATE WORLD'S STABLE LIGHTS

PCI Geomatica FreeView V9.1 
http://www.pcigeomatics.com/product_ind/geomatica_9.html

Geomatica FreeView 9 is a flexible data viewing tool supporting over 100
raster and vector formats for loading, viewing, selection, and enhancement.

FreeView is useful for any geospatial data viewing
application, and it is freely distributable.

FreeView includes a modern interface with many useful display tools,
including fast roam and zoom, image enhancements, numeric values
display, and attribute table display.

To download de installation program archive (25 MB) click here
http://www.pcigeomatics.com/freeware/FreeViewV91.exe


Freeview 9.1
Screen showing the intense light radiation at Cantarell


( CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE )
IMAGE CREATED BY JAMES SMITH WHO KINDLY PROVIDED TO ME
AND HELPED DEFINITELY TO COMPLETE THIS INVESTIGATION

IMAGE SOURCE: http://www.ufocom.org/pages/v_fr/m_articles/video_mexique/Image24.jpg

Chart showing the trajectory followed by Merlin C-26A (black line) since the moment of the first
detection of a radar target (16:42:20) and the end of the observations from the FLIR infra-red data
(17:28:06). The geographical road (in degrees) and the ground speed average (in knots) are given
for the principal segments. The vectors indicate the direction of aiming of infra-red camera FLIR.
(given GPS by Bruce Maccabee) Graph of Laurent Léger (sic) -Gildas Bourdais-
Source: Une observation remarquable au Mexique Par Gildas Bourdais, 1er juin 2004
http://www.ufocom.org/pages/v_fr/m_articles/video_mexique/Mexique_GB.htm



FREEVIEW 9.0 SCREEN SHOWING CANTARELL LIGHT SIZE
COMPARED TO MERIDA CITY WITH A 4 MILLION POPULATION

This graphic shows the Mexican Air Force C26A trajectory from 16:42:20 to 17:28:06 LOCAL TIME
The composite image was created by myself over imposing three images to make this overlay and it shows:

a.-) Primarily (background) the image provided by James Smith.
b.-) The image from Laurent Léger (red vectors) and
c.-) Two of the FLIR's video images vectors that match almost exactly pointing
        to Cantarell Oil Field flares and Campeche City.


Because of an involuntary mistake, I omitted the image below from Laurent Léger
received on May 28, 2004 who wrote to me supporting the Cantarell Oil Well theory
and providing some interesting information that I lost because an inappropriate use
of my Netscape email box.

Alejandro Franz



                   Image from Laurent Léger -Cantarell2.JPG - May 28, 2004.


Indexed message received on june 16, 2004 from Laurent Leger 

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Laurent Leger" <leger-l@wanadoo.fr>
To: "Gildas Bourdais" <gbourdais@wanadoo.fr>; 
"Bruce Maccabee" <brumac@compuserve.com>; 
"Santiago Yturria"<syturria@intercable.net>; 
<alfafox@prodigy.net.mx>
Sent: Friday, May 28, 2004 8:35 PM
Subject: Cantarell ?

Dear all,

I used coordinates given for IXTOC I on Alejandro Franz page :
http://www.alcione.org/FAM/REFERENCE_DATA.html

Not so bad match, except the misinterpretation of the Az number
(flir azimuth relative to longitudinal plane axis instead of QDR from 
Cantarell, why would they have input this waypoint ?)

El(evation) figures biased by plane incidence or bad calibration ?
It doesn't explain radar blips, nor the lights seen around -90° later
(full left of plane).

LL

 

 
Subject:      Re: UFOs Or Simply Oil Well Flames?
   Date:       Mon, 14 Jun 2004 13:16:42 -0400 (GMT-04:00)
   From:      j smith <zeus001002@earthlink.net>
     To:        "Cap. Alejandro Franz" <alfafox@prodigy.net.mx>

Hello,

I am sending you my latest work.  I thought I would tinker with generating
a 3D image of at least one of the more interesting parts of the video.

I extracted the circa 1997 locations of the oil rigs -from your chart image-
(I would guess more were added between then and now). 

I then placed them in the 3D modeller with the aircraft location at 17:07:00. 

I adjusted the azimuth and elevation until something came into view.

It turns out to be about -140 deg azimuth and -2 deg elevation (down) 
(the video says -139.1 deg and +2 deg elevation (up)).

My modeller doesn't have fine enough resolution to give any better angles.

I then adjusted the FOV of the camera from the aircraft location to match
the three main values of the FLIR. 

According to Bruce Maccabee, the values are .4 by .3 degree (which he 
says this particular frame was at), .8 by .6 degree and 3.4 by 2.6 degree. 

The match for the oil rigs at 92 by 19.37 degrees, 92.04 by 19.4 deg,
92.07 by 19.425 deg and 92.19 by 19.51 deg is pretty good.

One has to wonder how well the FOV adjustment is calibrated. 

Also, it is clear that this is a pretty extreme zoom mode. 

I also wonder whether they usually use it in their normal operations.

http://home.earthlink.net/%7Ezeus001002/3d_oil.jpg

Regards,
James

IMAGE PROVIDED BY JAMES SMITH
Image source: http://home.earthlink.net/%7Ezeus001002/3d_oil.jpg

IMAGE SHOWING A CLOSE MATCH OF THE FLIR's SCREEN AND THE OIL WELLS
GEOGRAPHIC POSITION RENDERED WITH 3DsMax Rastering&Vectoring PROGRAM


        CANTARELL OIL WELLS  LUMINOSITY  COMPARED TO SOUTHEAST TEXAS OIL WELLS

PROGRAM USED TO VIEW AND LOCATE WORLD'S STABLE LIGHTS

PCI Geomatica FreeView V9.1 
http://www.pcigeomatics.com/product_ind/geomatica_9.html


NOTE:  COORDINATES SHOWN BELOW ARE FROM NDB'S (NAVAIDS) LOCATED AT MOST OF THE OIL
             WELLS WHICH ARE INSTALLED TO GUIDE HELICOPTERS AND ANY SHIP WHEN APPROACHING
            ANY PARTICULAR OIL RIG.

COORDINATES FROM (NDB 'Navaids') LOCATED AT  EACH OIL WELL:

SOURCE: http://www.wapf.com/world/n.PO1.html ( LINK NOT WORKING ANYMORE)

OIL WELL NAMES LATITUDE LONGITUDE
AKAL J  (PA2) 19 deg 25min 41 sec N 92 deg 04 min 31 sec W
NEPTUNO  (PO1)  19 deg 26min 00 sec N  92 deg 02 min 00 sec W
AKAL C  (PA1)  19 deg 23min 57 sec N 92 deg 02 min 20 sec W
NOHOCH-A  (PN1)   19 deg 22min 06 sec N 92 deg 00 min 14 sec W
NDB:


LANDSAT-7 PHOTO OF THE OIL WELLS AT CANTARELL
( CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE )
Image provided by JAMES SMITH


GOOGLE EARTH's IMAGE OF CANTARELL OIL COMPLEX
IN THE GULF OF MEXICO
Image from Google Earth captured in 2006 ( now in 2007 is not available anymore)

Now is availabe at:


Click here or in the image
National Geographic Maps dirctly to Cantarell Oil Field
http://maps.nationalgeographic.com/map-machine#s=h&c=19.34224499677179, -92.07195281982423&z=11
 
 


DISTANCE BETWEEN MAIN GAS BURNERS IN NOHOCH-A COMPLEX IMAGE GATHERED
FROM GOOGLE EARTH IN 2006 ( NOW IN 2009 IT IS AVAILABLE HERE)


AKAL-J, AKAL-C AND NOHOCH-A OIL WELLS IMAGE SHOWING ACTUAL COORDINATES
GEOGRAPHICAL COORDINATES FROM AKAL-C AND NOHOCH-A GAS BURNERS OF
CANTARELL OIL COMPLEX IN THE GULF OF MEXICO. IMAGE WAS GATHERED FROM
GOOGLE EARTH IN 2006 ( AVAILABLE NOW HERE)


NDB'S (NON DIRECTIONAL BEACONS) AT CANTARELL OIL FIELD
IMAGE FROM 1998 NAVIGATION CHART
ONC J-25 SCALE 1:1,000,000


           CHART ONC J-25 SCALE  1:1,000,000 DATED 1998


NDB'S AT CANTARELL OIL FIELD CHART FROM 1997 ONC J-25 SCALE 1:1,000,000


 
You could find this link useful.

http://mirage-mex.acd.ucar.edu/Literature/2003Villasenor.pdf

Page 4 has a nice diagram of all the platforms in the area.
I guess they did a lot of work gathering location data for all
platforms and flare types.

Diagram
 

Page 6 has the following:

"The three types of offshore flaring operations used either elevated,boom or ground level flares.
Each of the seven major oil and gas producing platform complexes mentioned above may have
one or more elevated flares.

Some vertically pointing flares operate at either high flow (4.2x10^6 m^3/day) or low flow
(9.1 to 24x10^5 m^3/ day).

Several platforms have "boom" flares rated at 2.3x10^5 m^3/day. The designed flows to
boom flaring are generally much higher than the average flows (0.85 to 25x10^5 m^3/day)."
 
 




OIL WELL AKAL-C FLARES AT CANTARELL, CAMPECHE.


IMAGE SHOWING THE LIGHT  (HEAT) INTENSITY OF CANTARELL OIL FIELD AREA
 
CALCULATION CHART
INPUT data in the following chart:

in the "Height of the light above Sea Level"  WINDOW INPUT 200 ft (average elevation of oil rigs booms)

in the "Height above the eye of the observer above sea level" WINDOW INPUT 11500 ft  ( C26A Merlin altitude)

RESULT = 141.89344043992807 NM

Nautical Miles (1nm = 1.852km)

Given the Height of the Light Above Sea Level(200) and the
Height of the Eye of the Observer (11500)above Sea Level,
Compute the Geographic Range
http://pollux.nss.nima.mil/calc/range.html

Height of the Light above
Sea Level (specify units): 
 
feet
meters
Height of the eye of the Observer
above Sea Level (specify units): 
 
feet
meters
Geographic Range:
(Nautical Miles)

IMAGE PROPERTY OF:
UNAM - INSTITUTO DE CIENCIAS DEL MAR Y LIMNOLOGÍA
http://biblioweb.dgsca.unam.mx/cienciasdelmar/instituto/1983-1/articulo156.html


IMAGE COMPOSITE BY L.D.G KURT FRANZ RUÍZ

PICTURE SHOWING THE FLIR DIRECTION VECTORS THAT MATCH EXACTLY TO THE CANTARELL OIL FIELD
(CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE )


(CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE )


(CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE )
 


MAGE PROPERTY OF:
UNAM - INSTITUTO DE CIENCIAS DEL MAR Y LIMNOLOGÍA
http://biblioweb.dgsca.unam.mx/cienciasdelmar/instituto/1983-1/articulo156.html


Infrared Imagery in Flight

With the aid of advanced imaging sensors, pilots of both rotor craft and fixed wing aircraft
can now conduct missions that were not possible just a few years ago. In general, these
sensors can be viewed as extensions to a pilot's own visual system. They allow the pilot
to safely fly and complete missions at times when environmental conditions (e.g., darkness,
dust, smoke) would preclude flight or mission completion with unaided vision. One class of
imaging sensors that has been used extensively by pilots for targeting, navigation, and flight
control purposes are thermal imaging (infrared imagery) systems. In general, thermal imaging
sensors are sensitive to thermal radiation in the infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum
(3-5 microns or 8-14 microns). (Visible light, to which the human eye is sensitive, is in the
range of 0.4 to 0.7 microns.)
 

A thermal sensor creates a visual scene on a cathode-ray tube (CRT) that can be mounted either
on the cockpit panel or the pilot's helmet. The visual scene provided by the sensor is monochrome
and appears to be similar to black and white television (TV) or reversed-video (i.e., phase inverted)
black and white TV. However, despite the overall appearance of similarity to TV images, there are
important differences. An important qualitative difference between thermal imagery (TI) and TV or
unaided vision occurs as a direct result of the image's source: The distribution of gray shades in
TI represents relative temperature differences, rather than brightness and reflectance differences.

Compared to TV images or directly-viewed visual scenes,
TI has the following properties:

(1) Heat-emitting objects  generally have higher contrast with the background;
(2) Shadowing/shading information may be absent;
(3) Sensor polarity settings (i.e., the assignment of white or black to hot) may
      lead to perceptual errors;  and
(4) A given object may appear quite different when viewed under different
     environmental  conditions (e.g., time of day, yearly season, humidity, ambient
     temperature).

 These characteristics of thermal imagery directly impact flight
 control and navigation, particularly at very low altitudes:

(1) Pilot workload is generally higher (Hart & Brickner, 1989);
(2) Object distances may be inaccurately estimated (Hart & Brickner, 1989),
      (Hale & Piccione, 1989);
(3) The horizon line may be indistinct (Bohm, 1985); and
(4) Specific objects in the environment may change luminance levels
     drastically as a function of time of day (Berry, Dyer, Park, Sellers & Telton, 1984).

Infrared Imagery in Flight
Dr. David C. Foyle
MS 262-3
Aerospace Human Factors Research Division
NASA Ames Research Center
Moffett Field, CA 94035-1000
http://human-factors.arc.nasa.gov/ihi/papers/publications/foyle/visualissues91/visualissues91.html


INFRARED AND/OR THERMAL IMAGING

What does a thermal image look like?

A thermal image is black and white. On a relative scale, it shows hot items as white and
cold items as black. Temperatures between the two extremes are shown as gradients of gray.
Some thermal imagers have color images. The color is artificially generated by the camera’s
video enhancement electronics, based upon the thermal attributes seen by the camera.

What is a pixel?

A pixel is the smallest single individual image element of detection on the thermal imaging sensor.

What is a focal plane array (FPA)?

A focal plane array is a group of pixels organized into a rectangular grid. The size of the array is
measured by multiplying the horizontal number of pixels by the vertical number of pixels. Most fire
service thermal imaging cameras on the market today contain 160 x 120 or 320 x 240 FPAs.

What frequency range does the thermal imaging sensor detect?

Thermal imaging sensors are designed to detect long-wave infrared radiation between 8 to 14 microns.
This energy, unlike visible light, can pass through smoke and is undetected by the naked eye.

What is a BST detector?

BST stands for "barium strontium titanate," and this type of detector was developed
by Raytheon Corporation.

Ceramic-like thermal-energy-sensing material is used to make BST focal plane arrays,
which measure heat by storing it as a fixed value (similar to a capacitor) at each pixel.
When the grid of pixels, or focal plane array, is monitored simultaneously, a thermal
image is generated.

Because of their fixed-image properties, BST pixels must be refreshed regularly in order
to maintain the perception of real-time imaging.

The device used to refresh the image is called a "chopper." The "blade" of the chopper
wheel passes in front of the detector to effectively change the scene temperatures "sensed"
with each pass. The speed of the chopper determines the "refresh rate" (see definition)
and is typically 30 Hz.

What is a microbolometer?

A microbolometer is the latest type of thermal imaging FPA, which consists of materials that measure
heat by changing resistance at each pixel. The most common microbolometer material is vanadium oxide
(VOx). Amorphous silicon is another relatively new microbolometer material.

Although microbolometers do not require a chopper to refresh the image, they must occasionally be
recalibrated for the pixels to provide a consistent output and to avoid oversaturation. The device that
occasionally (every 30 seconds to 5 minutes) and automatically recalibrates the FPA is called a
"shutter" (see definition).

What does ferroelectric mean?

A TIC’s detectors that are ferroelectric in nature detect heat by storing it as a value on each individual
pixel. BST and pyroelectric vidicon tubes are examples of ferroelectric detectors.

What does thermoelectric mean?

TIC’s detectors that are thermoelectric in nature detect heat by changing each pixel’s resistance.
Microbolometers are examples of thermoelectric detectors.

What is MRTD?

MRTD stands for Minimum Resolvable Termal Difference. This is a relatively inaccurate
measurement of the smallest temperature difference that a thermal imaging camera can detect.

What is NETD?

NETD stands for Noise-Equivalent Temperature Difference. This is a measurement of the smallest
temperature difference that a thermal imaging camera can detect in the presence of electronic
circuit noise for a particular lens f-number.

What is dynamic range?

Dynamic range is the range of temperature variance that a TIC can see without saturating.
A microbolometer has a much larger dynamic range (e.g., 360º F or 200º C) when compared to a
BST which has a much smaller dynamic range (e.g., 45º F or 25º C). This allows the microbolometer
to demonstrate gradients of gray in environments (generally at higher temperatures) where BST
sensors become saturated and appear as a black and white image.

To further enhance the image, the Evolution 4000 microbolometer automatically extends the dynamic
range even farther to 1080º F (600º C) in high temperatures (indicated by the ‘EI' indicator on display).

What is meant by field of view (FOV)?

The field of view describes the area visible by the thermal imaging camera. FOV is measured in
degrees and can be specified in horizontal, vertical, or diagonal measurement. The lens and its
position generally determine the camera’s FOV.

What is standby mode?

The standby mode turns all major components in a TIC off except for the sensor core. This feature
allows the camera to be in ready mode so that the camera can power up without the standard
15 - to 30-second sensor core warm-up time.

What is the purpose of an iris?

Generally used on ferroelectric (pyroelectric vidicon tubes and BST) sensors, the iris is a mechanical
aperture that operates much like the iris of the human eye. It opens and closes to control the amount
of infrared energy that enters the camera and strikes the sensor.

The iris also manages the "dynamic range" (see definition) of ferroelectric sensors. The iris can be
either manual or automatic and may also be called a "throttle" or "gain adjust." All MSA TICs have
an automatic iris so that operation is completely seamless to the user and requires no manual
intervention.

What thermal imaging cameras currently available on the market are rated as intrinsically safe?

To date, no TICs available on the market have an intrinsic safety rating. Products that are rated as
intrinsically safe do not generate enough heat or spark which could serve as the ignition source for
an explosion.

TICs require too much power and produce too much energy to qualify as intrinsically safe products.
Technology is rapidly evolving to provide lower power components for TICs, so an intrinsically safe
camera is not far away.

What is a shutter?

A shutter is a mechanical device, generally shaped like a flag, which closes in front of the detector
to activate the calibration for a uniform temperature (or black body).

This automatic, periodic calibration is necessary because pixels in microbolometers drift and
cause image degradation.

What is "refresh rate"?

Refresh rate (or frame update rate) is the number of times per second that a new image is "created"
by the sensor. The refresh rate is determined by mechanical attributes (e.g., chopper wheel),
where applicable, and the speed of the electronics.

What is white-out or oversaturation?

White-out or oversaturation occurs when a thermal imaging detector is subjected to too much
thermal energy, and the image, which appears as a white cloud, no longer identifies fine details
in the scene.

Most thermal imaging cameras have an automatic iris or appropriate software to adjust system
controls to avoid white-out immediately after intense thermal energy hits the detector.
Pointing the TIC directly at superheated sources, such as the sun, is not recommended
and may damage the detector.

What makes a quality high-resolution thermal imaging picture?

    Thermal imaging picture quality is determined by a number of factors:

1. The quality of the lens that focuses the thermal image onto the FPA. One measurement of
    lens speed is the f-number. The smaller the f-number, the wider the lens, and the better the
    image quality. Generally, the main constraints to lens quality include weight and size
    (the better the lens, the bigger and heavier it will be).

2. The number of pixels on the FPA. With all other thermal system components being equal,
    the more pixels on the FPA, the finer the image details that can be resolved.

3. Whether it’s microbolometer or BST. BST pixels are mechanically interconnected, whereas
    microbolometer pixels are mechanically isolated. The thermal energy seen by an individual
    BST pixel can therefore "bleed" onto nearby pixels, but isolated microbolometer pixels sense
    independently and provide clearer, crisper image lines.

4. The electronic signal processing (video enhancement electronics). Most fire service thermal
    imaging cameras are controlled by microprocessors, which not only monitor the system but
    also "enhance" the thermal image. For example, some cameras are able to generate near
    320 x 240 FPA performance by using a 160 x 120 array and "averaging" to generate the
    remaining image points. Others are able to determine if a pixel is not functioning properly
    and approximate its correct output using surrounding pixels to generate a smoothed image.

5. The MRTD. ( Minimum Resolvable Termal Difference )

6. The NETD. ( Noise Equivalent Temperature Difference )

7. The Dynamic Range.  In a transmission system, the ratio of the overload level
    ( the maximum signal power that the system can tolerate without distortion of the signal )

8. The amount of system signal noise. Signal processing and components may add noise
    (or "snow") to the image. The cleaner the system, the better the image (difficult to measure
     but easy to see).

9. The display used to interface with the user. The better quality display provides a better image.

Source: http://www.msanet.com/MSANorthAmerica/MSAUnitedStates/frequentlyaskedquestions/EvolutionFAQ.html


LOOMING MIRAGE


Mexico's FLIR video screen shot showing two lights with a lower anomaly.
It looks like a LOOMING MIRAGE

A second effect, called refraction, also affects the path the electromagnetic energy will take
as it propagates through the atmosphere. Normally, because the atmosphere's density
decreases rapidly with height, the radar beam will be deflected downward, much like light
passing through a glass prism. In extreme cases, where temperature increases with height
and dry air overlays warm air, (a condition often found along coastlines), the beam can bend
down dramatically and even strike the ground. Meteorologists call this effect "anomalous
propagation". Both the curvature of the earth and normal atmospheric refraction must be
accounted for when determining the position of a target.

Refraction : The bending of light

Source:http://er.jsc.nasa.gov/seh/l.html

The bending of light as it passes from one medium to another is called refraction.

The angle and wavelength at which the light enters a substance and the density of that
substance determine how much the light is refracted. The refraction of light by atmospheric
particles can result in a number of beautiful optical effects like halos, which are produced
when sunlight (or moonlight) is refracted by the pencil shaped ice crystals of cirrostratus clouds.

A mirage is an optical phenomenon which often occurs naturally. The kind most commonly
seen is produced by the refraction of light when it passes into a layer of warm air lying close
to a heated ground surface.  ( Like the sea waters in the Gulf of Mexico before dawn )

A mirage effect produced by greater-than-normal refraction in the lower atmosphere,
thus permitting objects to be seen that are usually below the horizon. This occurs when
the air density decreases more rapidly with height than in the normal atmosphere.
If the rate of decrease of density with height is greater in the region followed by the ray
from the top of the object than for the ray from the bottom of the object, the image will
be stretched vertically. This stretching is often called looming but is more properly
termed towering. The antonym of looming is sinking and that of towering is stooping.

Some mirages have specific names:

Source Jeanette Cainhttp://www.light-science.com/desertmirage.html

1. Looming - appearance of objects usually hidden below the horizon. Normally occur over
    water surfaces when normal rate of air thickness decreases and altitude is heightened.

2. Sinking - reverse effect of the above phenomenon. Occurs when the opposite conditions
    at sea take place. In sinking, the vessels, boats and shorelines which are seen on the
    horizon, seem to sink below and become invisible.

3. Towering - occurs due to irregular refraction. Light rays curve downward, with the top
     of the object curving more than the lower ones. The observer will see objects which seem
     to be lifted up more then they need to be and will be enlarged in the vertical direction.

4. Stooping - when the light rays of the distant object curve downward less than the rays at
    the bottom. This vertical contraction gives it this name. It results in objects on the horizon
    being observed with the rising or setting of the sun and the moon. One may often see a
    distortion caused by irregular layer effects of the lower atmosphere strata. One of the most
    famous of these occurs between Calabria and Sicily and is known as Fata Morgana.

Normal atmospheric conditions

Usually, within the lower atmosphere (the troposphere) the air near the surface of the Earth
is warmer than the air above it, largely because the atmosphere is heated from below by
solar radiation absorbed at the surface.

Hot air, however, rises. This is convection in which the warmer air rises up, to be replaced
with cooler air which is then heated. It is this process that leads to cloud building, thermals,
and other convection related atmospheric behavior.

Inversion layer

How inversions occur

Sometimes the gradient is inverted, so that the air gets colder nearer the surface of the Earth:
this is a temperature inversion.

It can be created by the movement of air masses of different temperature moving over each
other. A warm air mass moving over a colder one can "shut off" the convection effects,
keeping the cooler air mass trapped below.

It commonly occurs at night: when solar heating ceases, the surface cools by radiation,
and cools the immediately overlying atmosphere. Over most of Antarctica there is a near
permanent inversion.

Consequences of an Inversion

With the disruption of normal convection, a number of phenomena are associated
with a temperature inversion. One common effect is the general "stillness" of the air,
as is dirty or foggy air which can no longer be pulled away from the surface.

The Index Refraction of air decreases as the air temperature increases, a side effect
of hotter air being less dense. Normally this results in distant objects being shortened
vertically, an effect that is easy to see at sunset (where the sun is "squished" into an orb).
In an inversion the normal pattern is reversed, and distant objects are instead stretched
out or appear to be above the horizon. This leads to the interesting optical effects of
Fata Morgana or mirage.

Inferior mirage

What is a mirage? A mirage is a misleading appearance. Most mirages occur on
the seas or in the deserts. What will cause a mirage? A reflection. What causes
reflection? Light. We seldom consider light as anything magical or wonderful,
but light allows us the ability to see many good things and, often, many bad things.

Mirages, also called illusions, are caused by a reflection of some distance object
which allows you to think that it is close by. In physics, it is known as an optical
illusion. The more common type of mirage is called inferior mirage. It happens
when a refraction of light passes through the atmosphere layers with varying
qualities. Distance objects may seem to be raised above or below their normal
locality. These objects may be seen as irregular and fantastic shapes.

In warmer climates, such as deserts and sandy plains, mirages frequently occur.
It normally comes in the appearance of the desert resembling a sheet of water,
especially if you are somewhat higher than the mirage you experience. If you've
been driving down the interstate in the heat of summer, you probably have
noticed this same effect. With this case, the image is really of the sky.
How does it occur? If you are below eye level of this surface, all objects will
appear inverted, or upside-down. Over a hot surface, air will stand in layers
that are of a different element or part. The layers below or near the ground
are the hottest. These air layers cause a distortion of wave fronts, due to the
speed of light varying as the element or parts change.

Superior mirages are spectacular events, but much less common than the
inferior mirage. These occur mainly over the horizon of the sea when distant
objects are sketched, or drawn, upside down in the sky. Sometimes there is
an erect image of the same object which will be above the upside-down image.
This is characteristic of cold areas and conditions with a strong change of
temperature where the warmer layers of air rise above the cooler layers.

This involves a complicated action of wave fronts of light as the pass through
the layers. Within the polar regions, these shapes may take the form of horrible
and unusual images. If you see the mirage on land, the trees and other landscape
objects will be turned upside down and these images are always clearly defined.

A lateral mirage can be seen when 2 layers of air are separated by a vertical
(straight up and down) plane. This type of mirage takes place at a south facing
wall, within the Northern hemisphere, which has absorbed considerable heat.

A mirage is an optical phenomenon which often occurs naturally. The kind most
commonly seen (known as inferior mirage, because the inverted image lies below
the erect one) is produced by the refraction of light when it passes into a layer of
warm air lying close to a heated ground surface.

Source Jeanette Cainhttp://www.light-science.com/desertmirage.html
 


Thermal energy

Thermal energy is transmitted in the infrared wavelength ( 1 micron to 100 microns ).

Thermal energy is closely related to visible light in that it travels in a wave.

The human eye can only see the narrow middle band of visible light that encompasses
all the colors of light in the rainbow.  Thermal infrared imagers translate the energy
transmitted in the infrared wavelength into data that can be processed into a visible
light spectrum video display.

Visible light is dependent on a light source ( the sun or artificial ) reflecting off an
object to be received by our eyes.  Remember, all objects above 0 degrees Kelvin
emit thermal infrared energy so thermal imagers can passively  see all objects
regardless of ambient light. Thermal infrared imaging performs in a wider range
of environments than other night vision technologies.

Image Interpretation

Most thermal imagers produce a video output in which white indicates areas of maximum
radiated energy whilst black indicates areas of lower radiation. Most cameras have the
facility to invert this video so that black relates to maximum radiation and vice versa.

This video output is recorded onto high quality, broadcast standard video tape on site.
The resultant tape can then be analyzed by DHR Consultancy Service's image processing
computer systems. The image is also available for viewing whilst filming is taking place.
In this way, a Client Engineer can often plan remedial action at the scene.

The original black/white signal contains the maximum amount of information, certainly more
than the eye can distinguish. However, in order to ease general interpretation and facilitate
subsequent presentation, the thermal image can be artificially colorized. This is achieved
by allocating desired colors to blocks of gray levels to produce the familiar colorized images.
This enables easier image interpretation to the untrained observer. Additionally, by choice of
the correct colorization palette, the image may be enhanced to show particular energy levels
in detail. For example, the operator can choose a palette to highlight cryogenic temperatures
or by selecting another palette,  objects at high temperatures.

As mentioned above, the amount of infra-red radiation emitted from a surface depends
partly upon the emissivity of that surface. For this reason, extreme care is needed if using
an infra-red imager to give accurate temperature measurements within an image.
By far and away, the main benefit of thermal imaging is obtained from qualitative rather
than quantitative use. Infra-red non contact thermometers do exist but they all require
accurate assessment of surface emissivities if the result is to be meaningful.

When interpreting infra-red images, remember that the image is comprised purely of
radiated thermal energy. The effects of the sun, shadows, moisture and subsurface detail
must all be taken into account as described below.

Often with infra-red building surveys, the item looked for, or the problem to be diagnosed,
is not immediately apparent. Bear in mind that the imager is looking at the radiation emitted
from the surface. The imager does not have the ability to see below the surface as such;
however, the radiation from the surface is often influenced by subsurface detail such as
buried conduit, cracks, wall ties etc. which all effect the thermal characteristics of the
adjoining material. When conducting aerial surveys, sub-surface detail becomes even
more apparent with buried pipe work (hot or cold) being clearly visible because of their
effect on the surface temperature and emissivity.

In the same way, air flow can often be detected by its cooling or heating effects as it enters
or leaves the building structure. Moisture can often be seen as a result of cooling of the
surface material by evaporation. If a wall is subject to dampness, the resulting image will
show an uneven response due to the varying degrees of evaporation. It is sometimes
possible to follow the path of water ingress through the building structure in this way.
This does however, mean that surveys should not be carried out in the rain or whilst
the building structure is wet as misleading results will result.

The following factors should also be borne in mind:

The effect of solar gain on the thermal structure of a building can lead to confusion.
In general, infra-red surveys are carried out sometime after sunset so that all such
effects have dissipated from the structure. However, this is not always possible and
the position of the sun relative to the building should be considered. In this case,
shadows falling on the building or shadows that have been on the building, can also
have an appreciable effect on the thermal radiation viewed.

When looking at a large area, the emissivity of various surfaces must be considered.
Most materials found on the surface of buildings will have a relatively high emissivity
(~ 0.95) but there will still be noticeable differences in the perceived image due to a
change in surface material. This can be overcome by a detailed knowledge of the
building under investigation.

When imaging surfaces such as metal or glass, special care must be taken.
Polished metal surfaces tend to reflect infra-red radiation in the same way that they
do visible light. Hence, an apparent 'hot spot' may be a reflection of a hot object
some distance away from the area under investigation. Such anomalies can be
detected by moving the imager around so that the reflective angles change.

Glass is predominantly opaque to infra-red radiation (particularly so at 8 - 14µm)
and in most cases, the image will be dominated by reflection. Hence, in ground floor
windows, a reflected image of the survey team will often be noted and in upper floor
windows the reflection of the cold sky temperature will be apparent. Glass is a
selective radiator with an emissivity which fluctuates markedly with wavelength.
These examples serve to emphasize that the radiation properties of the target
materials being surveyed need to be known.



Survey Techniques

The primary considerations for all survey activity are the environmental conditions.

If looking at buildings, as per the majority of ground surveys, a temperature differential
must exist between the inside and outside of the building. In this case, in the event of
an insulation defect, warmth will be seen leaving the building structure if viewed from
the outside. If the survey is being conducted from the inside, conduction from the
external cold air in the vicinity of a defect will be noticed.

To achieve this differential, surveys are most often conducted in the winter months
when the outside air temperature is at a minimum and the buildings are heated.
The exceptions to this are refrigerated buildings which may be surveyed during
summertime to achieve maximum differential.

As mentioned previously, areas of dampness will give an uneven thermal response.
This may be confused with defective areas of insulation so care should be taken to
avoid surveying when walls may be damp. (Unless of course, the object of the survey
is to identify areas of dampness).

Wet ground, snow or frost will  give rise to misleading survey images so care must be
taken if conducting surveys during such periods.

Very much the same conditions apply to aerial surveying. Additionally, the cloud base
must not extend below the survey height since the water vapor in the clouds makes
them opaque to infra-red. Care must be taken to ensure that survey flights are not
made in excessively windy conditions. If the wind is too high, the effects of wind chill
will be seen around the edges of buildings and the image quality may be poor if the
aircraft has difficulty remaining on a stable track heading. The exact threshold speed
will depend upon aircraft type and the nature of the images required, but would be
generally around 15 knots.

For aerial surveying, the imager may be mounted in a camera hatch of any suitable
modified observation aircraft. A typical DHR Consultancy Services survey would be
flown at 610 meters altitude above ground level. This gives a field of view swathe
420 meters wide. The survey area is then divided up into parallel tracks 300 meters apart.
This gives a degree of overlap to allow for wind gusts, aircraft roll or positional error.

The resultant video output from the camera is fed to a time/date generator which
superimposes a time/date stamp on the video signal. This can then be used to
cross reference the images with the tracks plotted on a map.

Used correctly, infra-red thermal imaging is a valuable tool for evaluating the conditions
of buildings, plant & machinery. They are of use in diagnostic, quality control and work
prioritization roles to name but a few.


 

Emissivity may alter with angle of observation.

Although in practice, many factors influence the detected signal intensity.
We can see that there are two major factors which must be taken into
account when considering thermal imaging of an object.

The absolute temperature of the object which defines the wavelength
at which maximum (but not all) radiation occurs, in addition to influencing
the amount of total radiation.

The emissivity of the object which defines how much radiation will be
emitted from the object. The emissivity of an object can also cause other
complications which will be looked at later.

Infrared lies past the red end of the visible light spectrum and for imaging
purposes can be regarded as the wavelengths covered between
1µm and 20µm. (micron = µm = 1 x 10-6 meters).

Infrared in the 1µm region is generally used for non imaging applications
such as short range remote controls or basic intruder detection systems.

There are several areas across the infrared wavelength spectrum in which the
absorption of radiation by the atmosphere renders these wavelengths unusable
for imaging applications. This extreme atmospheric absorption is caused mainly
by carbon dioxide and water vapor present in the atmosphere.

This leaves us with two bands of Infra-red radiation that are transmitted through
the atmosphere well enough to enable imaging to take place. These are the
3 - 5 µm and 8 - 14µm bands.

By examining black body (Planck) curves, we can see that a radiator at ambient
temperature would radiate most effectively in the 8 - 14µm band whereas a hotter
object such as a furnace would emit the greater amount of its radiation in the
3 - 5 µm band. When considering thermal imaging equipment, the anticipated
temperature of the object under examination should be used to give an indication
of the most suitable band to use. It should however, be remembered that most
radiators will be emitting radiation in both bands so that images may be produced
in either band.

Equipment Types

In both of the imaging bands considered, there are two types of detector that
may be used to convert the incoming infra-red thermal radiation to an electrical
signal suitable for processing into a pictorial output; Thermal Detectors and
Quantum Detectors.

Thermal detectors rely on a change in material characteristic caused by absorption
of infrared energy. The most common type of thermal detector uses the pyro-electric
effect in which the temperature change of the element causes a change in the charge
present on the device electrodes. These are the types of detector element used in fire
and intruder detection systems. They have the advantage of not requiring cooling and
are also used as part of PEV imaging systems.

More sophisticated imaging systems tend to use quantum detectors, these are
semiconductor devices in which incident radiation excites excess carriers, proportional
to the radiation intensity.

The most common semiconductor used as a quantum detector is Cadmium Mercury
Telluride (CMT), this has the advantage that its composition can be adjusted to give
maximum sensitivity at either 3 - 5 µm or 8 - 14µm.

The signal output of a quantum detector is so small that it would be swamped by noise
generated internally to the device at room temperatures.

Since noise within a semiconductor is partly proportional to temperature, quantum
detectors must be operated at low temperatures. CMT detectors should be operated
at -80°C when operating in 3 - 5µm modes and to -193°C when operating in the
8 - 14µm band.

This cooling requirement is a significant disadvantage in the use of quantum detectors.
However, their superior electronic performance still makes them the detector of choice
for the bulk of thermal imaging applications.

There are several different ways of cooling the detector to the required temperature.

 Bulk liquid. In the early days of thermal imaging, liquid nitrogen was poured into
imagers to cool the detector. Although satisfactory, the logistical and safety implications
led to developments into HPPG and thermal transfer technology.
 

 HPPG. High Pressure Pure Gas can be used to cool a detector to the required
temperatures. The Joule Thomson effect is the reduction in temperature of a gas when
it rapidly expands from a high to low pressure. The gas is passed via a pipe coil to an
orifice (typically <100µm in diameter), the gas rapidly expands and undergoes a rapid
loss in temperature. The waste gas passing upwards past the incoming coil cools the
incoming gas further until the cooler has provided a rapid cool down to design temperature.
Suitable gases are Nitrogen, Oxygen, Air and Argon. In general use, Pure air is the most
common gas used due to the relative simplicity and low cost of producing suitable volumes
of gas. Particular care must be taken regarding the purity of the gas used in a Joule
Thomson cooler. Since the orifice is so small, any particulate contamination will block
the cooler, as will the formation of ice if there is any water vapor in the gas.

Therefore, suitable filtration must be provided at all stages. A typical thermal imaging
facility will clean and dry the air during the charging of bottles and the air will also be
passed via a filter assembly when being subsequently fed to the detector.

Mechanical cooling systems are also in use. These have the logistical advantages of
freeing the imager from the requirements of carrying high pressure gases or liquid nitrogen.
They do however, have a number of disadvantages when compared to a Joule Thomson
system such as higher noise level, electrical interference, longer reaction time, increased
power requirements, additional control circuitry and they have, in the past, gained a poor
reputation for reliability. Modern split cycle Starling coolers have overcome (or reduced
to acceptable levels) these disadvantages and are now coming into widespread use in
commercially available imagers. See How Imagers Work

There are a number of different ways in which imagers operate, these can be roughly
classified into PEV, Staring Array and Scanning systems.

A Pyro-Electric Vidicon (PEV) is a variation of a conventional vidicon camera tube.
A plate of pyroelectric material is placed at the front of a vidicon tube, this effectively
forms a variable capacitance with its characteristics varying according to the incident
infra-red radiation. The plate matrix is scanned by an electron beam and the resultant
impulses amplified and processed into a video signal. These are uncooled devices and
although in service for basic applications are no substitute for cooled quantum detector
based systems. Since the pyroelectric effect depends upon a change in incident radiation,
they have to be constantly moved to produce an output. In practice, this is achieved by
using a mechanical optical 'chopper' to interrupt the thermal radiation scene.
They have limited spatial resolution due to thermal spreading (conduction) within the
cell matrix on the front plate of the vidicon.

Staring Arrays, as the name implies, consist of a matrix of detector elements.
These elements are often manufactured from Cadmium Mercury Telluride or Platinum
Sillicide. The entire scene is focused on this array, each element cell then provides an
output dependent upon the infra-red radiation falling upon it. These types of imagers
have the advantages of not requiring delicate thermionic devices (such as the vidicon)
or sophisticated scanning optics. However, at the moment, although a number of
commercial imagers do use this technology, there are practical limitations in producing
an array with a large enough number of elements to match the resolution achieved by
scanning systems. This is an area of imaging where significant development is currently
taking place, particularly for midrange commercial applications.

The bulk of high resolution (military grade) thermal imagers use scanned optical techniques.
They use a cooled CMT detector which is scanned across the image in a number of formats.

In the simplest form, a single element could be scanned along each line in the frame (serial
scanning). In practice, this would require impossibly high scan speeds so a series of elements
may be used. These may be scanned as a block, along each line. This cuts down the scan
speed from having just a single detector but the scan speed and channel bandwidth
requirements are still high. It does however, give a good degree of uniformity. The frame
movement can be provided by frame scanning optics or in the case of line scan type imagers,
by the movement of the imager itself. This type of imager is often used in aerial applications
where the detector element(s) are scanned along the same line, whilst the forward movement
of the aircraft provides the relative frame movement. These imagers often provide a digital
or photographic output rather than a CCIR video signal. Problems of non-linearity may be
introduced by lateral movement of the aircraft.

Another method is to use a number of elements scanning in parallel (parallel scanning).
These have one element per line but scan several lines simultaneously, this can give rise
to poor uniformity. However, frame scan speeds are lower.

A frequently used compromise is to use a serial/parallel matrix. This provides acceptable
uniformity in conjunction with realizable bandwidths and scanning speeds.

Each of the above methods has its advantages and disadvantages. They are all in use in
modern thermal imagers.

Another type of CMT based detector is the SPRITE. This again is a cooled detector
which requires scanning optics. SPRITE (Signal Processing In The Element) takes the
place of several serial elements. The processing that would have been done external to
those elements now takes place due to semiconductor biasing & doping within the
SPRITE element itself.. This has the advantage of reduced encapsulation lead-outs, less
signal processing circuitry and an improved signal to noise ratio. Several SPRITEs may
be used in a parallel scan to further improve efficiency. Most of the modern top quality
imagers now available, including some of those used by Proviso Systems Ltd, use SPRITE
technology. Multi-element SPRITE systems may still be regarded as restricted military technology.

When considering the optical requirements for thermal imagers, it is important to consider
the optical material used. At infra-red imaging wavelengths, glass becomes a complex
radiator and cannot be used to transmit radiation. There are many materials with suitable
infra-red properties but these are often of restricted use due to physical limitations.

Germanium has become the most popular material as it is now readily available in large
sizes with good optical characteristics. A wide range of protective coatings exist and it is
in almost universal use for standard imaging applications. Its only major drawback is that
it becomes opaque above 100°C, making it unsuitable for high speed aerial applications.

Zinc sulfide, zinc selenide, sapphire and magnesium fluoride are also used in certain
applications.


The amount of infrared radiation emitted from a surface depends partly upon the emissivity
of that surface. For this reason, extreme care is needed if using an infra-red imager to give
accurate temperature measurements within an image. By far and away, the main benefit of
thermal imaging is obtained from qualitative rather than quantitative use. Infrared non-contact
thermometers do exist but they all require accurate assessment of surface emissivities if the
result is to be meaningful.

When interpreting infra-red images, remember that the image is comprised purely of radiated
thermal energy. The effects of the sun, shadows, moisture and subsurface detail must all be
taken into account as described below.

Often with infra-red building surveys, the item looked for, or the problem to be diagnosed,
is not immediately apparent. Bear in mind that the imager is looking at the radiation emitted
from the surface. The imager does not have the ability to see below the surface as such;
however, the radiation from the surface is often influenced by subsurface detail such as buried
conduit, cracks, wall ties etc. which all effect the thermal characteristics of the adjoining material.
When conducting aerial surveys, sub-surface detail becomes even more apparent with buried
pipe work (hot or cold) being clearly visible because of their effect on the surface temperature
and emissivity.

In the same way, air flow can often be detected by its cooling or heating effects as it enters or
leaves the building structure. Moisture can often be seen as a result of cooling of the surface
material by evaporation. If a wall is subject to dampness, the resulting image will show an
uneven response due to the varying degrees of evaporation. It is sometimes possible to follow
the path of water ingress through the building structure in this way.
 



NARCAP
"National Aviation Reporting Center on Anomalous Phenomena"
 

It is the opinion of NARCAP, based upon the evidence available, that the most likely source of this alleged
UAP observation was the oil flares from the Cantrell oil fields in the Gulf of Campeche . While we have not
posted our findings yet, we are in general agreement with the findings of Captain Alejandro Franz Navarrete
whose documentation can be found at: http://www.alcione.org/FAM/FLIR_CONCLUSION.html

NARCAP applauds Captain Franz for his attention to detail as well as his objectivity.
This case has received a great deal of attention in the media including many premature and
unfounded claims and speculations arising from the so-called ?UFO Community?.

http://www.narcap.org


Biography
Dr. Richard Haines

Dr. Richard Haines is Chief Scientist of NARCAP Ex-NASA scientist who was in charge of the
mental and physical condition of the astronauts of Gemini program, Apollo and Skylab


Dr. Richard Haines
at NASA
 



Is it Real?: UFO's
Capt. Alejandro Franz's theory is aired on National Geographic Channel

tm
CREDITS
National Geographic Television and Film Production
© 2005 NGHT, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
http://channel.nationalgeographic.com


THE TRUTH ABOUT THE RECREATION FLIGHT
OCTOBER 29 2004
                                                                                                                 Beechcraft King Air 200 XA-PMX

                                                                        Interview at Helivan's hangar, Villahermosa, México.                      "NEPTUNO" and AKAL-J oil rigs


      Capt. Javier Olivares onboard the King Air from Helivan.      Dana Kemp, James Ball, Alejandro Franz, French Horwitz.

tm
National Geographic Television and Film Production
© 2005 NGHT, Inc.+
http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/series/is-it-real/2322/Overview


Cap. Alejandro Franz
director@alcione.org
ALCIONE.ORG
(no lucrativa)