Aerial Thermography Sectors
This section looks at a variety of potential uses for aerial thermal solutions. While not exhaustive, the industries mentioned below provide a detailed overview which encompasses a range of sub-sectors, demonstrating the versatility and importance of this market.
Electrical Power Line Surveys
Thermal inspections are crucial in finding over-heating areas of a power line and identifying hot spots which could point to a range of issues. Offering thermographic surveys (or indeed incorporating them into an existing inspection infrastructure) allows you to identify problem areas before any serious faults can occur. Using SUAs will also reduce operational costs and increase personnel safety when compared to traditional methods of power line surveying.
Pipelines & Offshore Platforms
One of the highest risk sectors due to the volatility and isolation of the targeted survey areas, the oil and gas industry have become one of the strongest advocates for SUA integration. This goes doubly for aerial thermographic solutions which allow efficient and safe inspections of rigs and pipelines. Timely identification of issues on offshore platforms can save millions on costly shutdowns and by using unmanned aircraft you are able to gather precise data in greater volume without placing engineers into dangerous situations.
Emergency Services / Search & Rescue
Thermal solutions are a great addition to the equipment of emergency services and rescue teams. They can not only be instrumental in locating missing people in challenging environments or tracking suspects, thermographic sensors are also invaluable incident management tools. For fire departments, the ability to detect the hot spots in burn sites maximises their ability to combat blazes without needless wasting of water causing pollution.
Conducting thorough thermographic surveys of structures can serve a number of purposes. Ranging from Pest Control to Roof Maintenance and even Energy Efficiency, the use of SUAs to collect this data streamlines the entire process and enables you to present clients, residents or your own business with useable data about structural integrity. This prompt, safety conscious approach is budget conscious and offers high integrity feedback to align with building upkeep plans.
An Introduction to Thermography
Welcome to Heliguy’s Enterprise Thermography section. This page will endeavour to explain the concept of thermal imaging and infrared monitoring as well as the numerous benefits that aerial thermography solutions can offer your business.
Thermography is often defined as a ‘predictive maintenance technique’ which allows users to monitor the condition of machinery, systems, structure and electrical equipment. Using a variety of instruments such as thermal imagers and cameras to read infrared emissions and detect anomalies, users can locate potential and existing issues within their operational environment.
Infrared emissions aren’t visible unless you are operating specialist equipment and the measurement of temperatures with infrared methods can seem complicated without some form of instruction.
Essentially there are three forms of thermal energy which can be detected from a target object:
Energy emitted from the object
Energy reflected from the object
Energy transmitted by the object
The emitted energy is the most important within thermographic surveys, with reflected and transmitted energy often serving to distort the collated data. Therefore, these ancillary readings must be discarded from the data set before accurate analysis can occur.
The ‘surface condition’ of your target object (i.e. paint or protective layering), will also affect the emissivity. These factors will likely change both surface temperature and heat distribution. This must be compensated for or it is unlikely you will be able to accurately collate your anticipated data set.
Atmospheric factors between the target object and the thermal imaging device also play a part in successful data capture. Obscurants such as water vapour, dust, gas and harsh lighting conditions will absorb infrared radiation and have the potential to distort measurements. To combat this, many thermographic devices utilise filters to reduce the effects of an atmospheric diminution of data.
Now you are aware of the basics of thermographic work and the principles which must be adhered to, read on to find out how this will apply to your business practices and dovetail with a range of aerial platforms to create viable use cases.
This section illustrates the varied usage of thermography throughout a range of sectors and is provided by existing Heliguy customers and partners. Read on to learn more about the potential for thermal imaging solutions within an industrial setting.
Mid and West Wales Fire & Rescue Service – DJI Zenmuse XT Thermal Camera
The below case study comes courtesy of our clients from the Mid and West Wales Fire & Rescue Service (MAWWFRS) who acquired a DJI Zenmuse XT FLIR thermal solution from Heliguy for use in the field.
Platforms & Products
Zenmuse XT Thermal
From world-leading SUA manufacturer DJI, the Zenmuse XT is an integrated gimbal camera with thermographic capabilities powered by FLIR technology. This model is currently available in Standard and Radiographic variants.
The Standard XT system offers a lower cost solution ideal for emergency services. It's capable of recognising body heat in multiple environments and a centralised spot measures temperature on-screen. For industrial or agricultural uses, the XT Radiometric can disseminate hot and cold areas with more accuracy. Alert thresholds can be set, automatically activating when the desired temperature is detected. You also have the ability to process footage in FLIR Tools with temperature information.
Micro-Epsilon thermalIMAGER (TIM) Lightweight
Micro Epsilon's Thermal imaging cameras have been designed for rapid, accurate measurement. Unlike ubiquitous handheld thermal imaging cameras, the Micro-Epsilon thermoIMAGER TIM range is designed to be fixed in place for use cases such as process and quality control, autonomous inspection, thermographic management and fire prevention. The TIM cameras are also well suited to R&D across a wide range of industries.
Built to be extremely compact and high speed, offering up to 128 Hz frame rate and very high resolutions of 80mK and 40mK with optical resolutions up to VGA, Micro Epsilon's thermal solutions are industry ready and perfect for radiographic applications.
Both of the above thermographic products are available for use with a range of aerial platforms, most prominently the DJI Inspire and Matrice ranges. You can learn more about the rig builds we offer by calling our team on 0191 296 1024 for a one-to-one chat about your business requirements.
Training is critical to the use an imaging system. There are many variables that have the potential to corrupt thermal data accuracy and these must be adequately compensated for during data acquisition. In addition, thermal data interpretation requires expert-led, focused training and field experience.
We offer Bespoke Training Courses which can include an overview of thermographic solutions and how they interact with SUA solutions. We are also able to adapt our existing training to your company’s needs and area of operation ensuring real-world scenario instruction.
Aside from product specific thermography handovers we also provide accredited training on behalf of the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) meaning that we can get a member (or members) of your team qualified to offer aerial services.
For more information about our training course, call us on 0191 296 1024 and start your company’s journey towards a lucrative aerial thermography service offering. Alternatively, fill in your details below to register your interest with our training team.