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FLIR specifies at operational altitude limit for OEM modules. Is this a thermal issue?

The 12km specification relates to the typical maximum altitude of a commercial airliner and freight transit or use of a FLIR OEM module on an airborne platform. It has been a legacy specification for operational altitude requirements of FLIR uncooled modules. FLIR is certain that Tau2 cameras have successfully operated over this “limit”.

FLIR does not have the means to determine an actual operational limit for altitude, however we are aware that customers have successfully used FLIR`s OEM cameras in outer space and other vacuum environments. Generally, these customers don`t share details of the camera use, however we haven`t been informed of any failures.

FLIR is aware of a reusable spacecraft that uses FLIR Tau 2 cameras in concert with other sensors for machine vision relative navigation during close-proximity rendezvous operations with the International Space Station (ISS), including autonomous docking.