Vision Air Research’s FLIR is mounted
on the left wing of the Cessna 206


Vision Air Research’s

founder, Susan Bernatas, is a Certified Wildlife Biologist and has hands-on experience in conducting wildlife population surveys using FLIR since the mid-1990s. She has over 5,000 hrs of experience in collecting and analyzing infrared video from FLIR.

She has used a range of sensor ensor types include:

  • the WesCam DS16
  • PolyTech Kelvin 350 II
  • SAFIRE, SAFIRE II
  • Star SAFIRE
  • FLIR’s Mark III.

She is also a pilot.

Susan has worked in day and night infrared survey data acquisition in a range of environmental conditions including winter surveys on the North Slope of Alaska on a polar bear maternal den study, wild horse and burros in Yuma, AZ in July, across the eastern and Midwestern US and in the Gulf Coast bayous of Louisiana. She has conducted research on the detection rates using various flight parameters and has experience with IR surveys in a range of environments.

Peer-reviewed papers on the use of FLIR for wildlife surveys including:

  • O’Neil, T.A, P. Bettinger, B.G. Marcot, B.W. Luscombe, G.T. Koeln, H.J. Bruner, C. Barrett, J.A. Pollock, and S. Bernatas. 2005.
  • Application of Spatial Technologies in Wildlife Biology. Pages 418 – 447. in C.E. Braun, editor. Techniques for Wildlife Investigations and Management. Sixth Edition.
  • The Wildlife Society, Bethesda, Maryland, USA. (Remote sensing of animals – Forward-looking Infrared (FLIR) 439 – 442.) Bernatas, S. and L. Nelson. 2004.
  • Sightabilty model for California bighorn sheep in canyon lands using forward-looking infrared (FLIR), Wildlife Society Bulletin 32(3):638-647.

Use of FLIR Papers Presented at Remote Sensing Conferences:

  • Greece
  • Spain
  • France
  • China
  • Across the US.

Instruction on the use of FLIR for wildlife surveys to a range of audiences, for example:

  • US Fish and Wildlife Service, National Conservation Training Center’s segment on FLIR for wildlife surveys within the New Technologies Course, 2003.
  • The Wildlife Society’s Annual Meeting, Calgary, 2004 and Anchorage 2006, Provided half day workshop on the use of FLIR for wildlife surveys at the Wildlife Society’s Annual Meeting.
  • Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Thunderbay, Ontario, November 2005, training session on the use of IR for aerial surveys for the MNR’s aerial survey training session.
Download Infrared Aerial Deer Survey 2005 Final Report

Susan Bernatas holds a M.S., is a Wildlife Society Certified Wildlife Biologist and has over 20 credits in statistics and attended the Level II Thermography course with the Infrared Training Institute, Sweden.