From the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife
-- On April 28 the Maine Warden Service introduces an aerial thermal imaging system that will be used by the Service in search and rescue and law enforcement missions as well as department biological field surveys.
The system, the first of its kind owned and operated by the state of Maine, uses technology currently in use in the Iraq war and in larger cities and metropolitan areas throughout the country. FLIR has the ability to produce video images in darkness as well as in daylight, and will be of particular value during search and rescue missions.
The FLIR purchase is part of a Maine Warden Service Project Night Hawk effort which began in the spring of 2007. The Maine Warden Service worked with the Maine Emergency Management Agency and the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund over the last couple of years to obtain funding for this project.
A surplus aircraft was transferred from the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency, and the Maine Warden Service received grants to obtain a newly overhauled engine and FLIR, the thermal imaging system. Numerous repairs and improvements brought the aircraft and engine in line with other MWS aircraft, and most of the repairs were done by three Maine Warden Service pilots, two who are certified aircraft mechanics, in an effort to keep costs down.
The aircraft and FLIR will be on display at the Augusta Municipal Airport where representatives will be training Maine Warden Service’s three pilots along with seven game wardens on how to use the system.