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Thermal cameras for enterprise drones

Thermal cameras or infrared cameras have revolutionized the way we approach various tasks and challenges across multiple industries.

By equipping drones with infrared or thermal imaging capabilities, professionals can now capture and analyze heat patterns from the air, offering insights that were previously difficult or impossible to obtain.

Multiple use cases of thermal imaging

Here's a brief overview of the utility and applications of thermal cameras on drones that enterprise organizations can benefit from:

  • Public safety

Law enforcement and security organizations can use thermal cameras as a non-invasive alternative to traditional means of discovering and identifying suspects.

  • Inspection

Thermal cameras can detect infrared energy invisible to the naked eye, allowing them to provide unprecedented insight into any issue that may arise during the construction process, such as moisture or electrical faults.  Radiometric thermal cameras can provide pixel level accurate temperature measurements in real time.

  • Search and rescue

Thermal imaging can identify individuals lost or trapped in situations such as avalanches, earthquakes, forest fires, or any other natural disaster.

  • Agriculture

Thermal imaging cameras are great for crop inspection as they detect temperature differences which can help identify diseased or under-watered plants.

  • Firefighting

Thermal drone cameras are used by firefighters to provide an infrared perspective of the fireground - allowing firefighters to predict hotspots accurately.

How thermal cameras work

Thermal cameras use infrared technology to detect and measure thermal energy emitted by objects. Thermal cameras are essentially infrared cameras that convert infrared radiation (heat) emitted from objects into electronic signals, which are then processed to produce thermal images or thermograms.

Thermal imaging technology operates in different parts of the infrared spectrum. The spectrum is divided into near-infrared (near-IR), mid-infrared (mid-IR), and far-infrared (far-IR) wavelengths.

The cameras mainly operate in the mid-IR to far-IR range, as these wavelengths are emitted by objects at temperatures encountered in everyday environments and industrial applications.

Unlike visible light cameras, thermal or infrared cameras do not rely on visible light to create an image. Instead, they detect the heat emitted by an object or person, making them effective for use in total darkness, through smoke, fog, and other visual obstructions.

DJI's Zenmuse lineup of thermal cameras

DJI has been among the leaders of integrating thermal imaging technology into their drones, offering the DJI Zenmuse payload series, among which are equipped with thermal capabilities. While specific features can vary across models, here are a few standout features of the latest thermal drone cameras from DJI:

  • High-resolution thermal imaging

DJI's latest thermal cameras, including the Zenmuse H20T, boast high-resolution sensors that provide detailed thermal images. This allows for more accurate temperature measurements and clearer visualization of heat sources, even from a distance.

Enhanced image processing algorithms also improve the clarity and usefulness of thermal data.

  • Radiometric functionality

Some of the latest DJI thermal cameras offer radiometric functionality, meaning they can measure the temperature of every pixel in the image.

This capability is crucial for applications requiring precise temperature measurements, such as industrial inspections, environmental monitoring, and agriculture.

  • Dual-sensor integration

DJI's Zenmuse H20T and Zenmuse H20N both have integrated dual-sensor cameras that combine thermal and visual imaging. This allows users to overlay thermal data onto visual images in real time, providing a more comprehensive understanding of the scene.

Switching between thermal, visual, and hybrid modes can be done seamlessly, enhancing situational awareness.

  • Intelligent flight modes

DJI's thermal payloads are equipped with intelligent flight modes and object tracking features, enabling them to automatically follow subjects or navigate pre-planned routes.

This automation is invaluable for tasks like search and rescue, wildlife monitoring, and large-scale infrastructure inspections.

DJI continually updates its product line with new features and improvements, so check our listings from time to time to be updated of their latest offerings.

FLIR's thermal solutions

Just like DJI, Teledyne FLIR is also known for its range of thermal cameras tailored to various applications, including aerial inspection, public safety, and environmental monitoring.

The company's thermal imaging solutions are designed for integration with different drone models, including DJI's Matrice Series and FLIR's very own SIRAS erterprise UAV, providing versatile and powerful tools for professionals needing detailed thermal data.

FLIR's payload cameras, like the FLIR Vue Pro and FLIR Vue TZ20 Series, features radiometric capabilities. These allow for precise temperature measurements across the image, and advanced analytics for real-time decision-making.

For any questions about the drone thermal cameras in our listing, click here to connect with our thermal drone experts at DSLRPros.

DSLRPros release notes on FLIR Vue TZ20