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Marine Resource 2016

Flir's First MateMS Thermal Imaging Camera helps sailors see in dark

by Jane Arakawa on 29 Nov 2011
Flir's First MateMS Thermal Imaging Camera - Flir's First MateMS Thermal Imaging Camera Flir Systems
Galileo, the inventor of the telescope, would be impressed with the latest Flir First Mate MS thermal night vision camera as it does something his telescope could never do – it helps sailors see in the dark.

The new First Mate MS uses the same thermal imaging technology as Flir’s best-in-class Navigator II, Voyager II and M-Series thermal night vision systems but now it’s even smaller, lighter and from under $3,300 it’s even more affordable than ever before.


A lightweight at 340gms and just over 17cm long, Flir First Mate MS fits easily into the palm of your hand and can spot a small vessel in pitch blackness at almost 900m and a person at 320m. Other First Mate MS models can spot a vessel at 1.23km distance – no illumination, no moonlight, in most weathers. Galileo would have been pleased.

First Mate MS provides go-anywhere thermal imaging for clear vision in total darkness and through smoke and light fog. Since it’s not permanently mounted to your vessel, as they are completely portable and battery powered they can be transferred between vessels – and even used around the home when your boat is not in use.

Any accident at sea has serious consequences for the vessel, its passengers and crew. Fortunately, thermal imagers are very effective in marine environments. They can detect objects in the water which may damage a vessel or even worse, sink it. Other vessels, shipping lane traffic, floating containers and buoys are all seamlessly detected by thermal imaging which is effective both in open water and in harbours and ports.

First Mate MS makes pictures from heat not light, so even in complete darkness sailors can now navigate safely at night around landmarks, rocks, other vessels, people in the water, bridges and other harbour structures – a journey at night that until now would have been virtually impossible.

First Mate MS Features
• Ultra-Compact, Easy-to-Use Design
• Lightweight – 340g
• Rugged All-Weather Design
• IP-67 Rated
• Choice of Resolutions (240 x 180 or 320 x 240)
• 2x Digital Zoom (MS-324 only)
• Freeze Frame (MS-224 only)
• Simple 3-Button Operation
• LED TaskLight
• Long-Life Rechargeable Li-Ion Battery


For working and commercial vessels chances are that your boat's only earning its keep when you're on the water. How much more time would your boat spend on the water if darkness and poor visibility didn't matter? Flir First Mate MS can make your workplace safer and more efficient.

There are other technologies available such as radar and sonar to help you during night-time navigation. Thermal imaging outperforms both of them, has some key operating advantages over them or can by used in conjunction with them.

So stay out a little longer, even when everyone else is scurrying for the dock, and enjoy your time on the water with your new First Mate MS.

For more information on the complete range of Flir Thermal Imaging Systems available in Australia please contact Australian Distributor Coursemaster Autopilots on 02 9417 7097 or by email sales(at)coursemaster.com or visit www.coursemaster.com

Coursemaster Autopilots Pty Ltd, Australian Distributor of Flir Thermal Systems since 2007, offers a depth of technical sales and service expertise and a 38 year specialisation in marine electronics.

About Flir Systems:
Pioneers in all aspects of infrared technology Flir designs, manufactures, and supports thermal imaging systems and subsystems for industrial, scientific, government, commercial, and firefighting applications.

With a 40-year history of infrared innovation, 100,000 systems in use worldwide and development centres and sales offices in over 60 countries, Flir is the world leader in thermal imaging technology.
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