FLIR Systems Inc., which employs 556 people in Goleta, was absorbed by Teledyne Technologies in a merger and stock swap worth about $8.2 billion in total. “I am delighted to welcome FLIR to the Teledyne family,” said Robert Mehrabian, executive chairman of Teledyne, in an announcement of the acquisition on May 14. The new division is called Teledyne FLIR, and a spokesperson for the company stated the acquisition resulted in minimal layoffs in Goleta.
FLIR stands for “forward-looking infrared,” and the company produces cameras and mechanisms that detect the heat signatures of objects, such as people, animals, or anything else that emits or absorbs thermal energy, in a light spectrum that human eyes cannot see. The first uses were in surveillance and military operations to locate people or other warm objects. The technology has developed into wider applications such as automatic braking and night-vision for vehicles, building and premises inspections, firefighting and rescue work, and skin temperature screening.
FLIR, which is based in Oregon, was founded in 1978 and has operated a manufacturing unit in Goleta for decades. Teledyne Technologies is a Thousand Oaks–based company that also makes infrared sensing products. It has been in the imaging sensors business since 1960, and its scopes are aboard the Mars Curiosity rover, which has been exploring the planet since 2012. Edwin Roks, who heads Teledyne’s Digital Imaging Segment, will lead the new division as an executive vice president.
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