With drone based solutions becoming increasingly commercially viable, one of the main avenues being pursued is the use of thermal imagery.
Created with the potential to conduct building and pipeline inspections, agricultural management and even aid during search and rescue operations, it’s no wonder that companies are demanding more accuracy and useable data from their thermal solutions.
FLIR and Movidius
In April, leaders in thermal imaging technology, FLIR Systems, formed a strategic partnership with processor manufacturer Movidius to create what is being tipped as the smartest thermal sensor on the market.
Combining the FLIR Boson camera with the Myriad 2 Vision Processing Unit allows the thermal sensor to access the power and resources of Movidius’ Artificial Intelligence to enable greater understanding of the thermal data being collected.
While diminutive in size, FLIR’s long wave infrared (LWIR) Boson is being pitched as having exceptional visual performance and is available in two resolutions, 640x512 or 320x256, as well as supporting a range of lenses.
As thermal solutions become more sophisticated, this partnership certainly makes sense to ensure that with increased volumes of data, comes a greater sense of context for users. These advances will prove increasingly important as applications combining thermal sensors and commercial drone usage become more mainstream.
FLIR and DJI
More closely linked to the commercial drone market, last week also saw FLIR and DJI’s collaboration on the DJI Zenmuse XT
take a step up with the ‘Advanced Radiometry Version’, allowing for temperature measurement as accurate as pixel by pixel (provided that the images are captured in TIFF format).
Partnering with DJI was a no-brainer for FLIR, as the Chinese consumer drone powerhouse is beginning to extend its reach beyond the filmography and photography focus of its ‘aerial camera’ roots and setting its sights on a range of industrial markets.
As progress continues to be made towards widespread acceptance of drone usage in commercial scenarios, you can expect to see savvy collaborations like these being formed right across the UAV ecosystem.
Both of these partnerships have opened up a range of potential use cases for FLIR's thermal imaging technology.
The FLIR Boson is ideal for use on fixed wing craft as, due to its small size, it wouldn't be a burden on payload capacity. Coupled with other top-end image capturing technology, the thermal imaging can be carried out in conjunction with aerial mapping or land surveying to provide users with a much more comprehensive data set.
The DJI Zenmuse XT
is compatible with the Inspire 1
, Matrice 100
and the new Matrice 600
making it a perfect add-on for drone pilots looking to undertake tasks requiring high quality thermal imaging. One notable example of this, Fire and Rescue services, are really starting to see the benefit of having a drone on-site (more often than not an DJI Inspire 1) able to relay aerial information to teams on the ground.
You can check out Heliguy’s review of the DJI Zenmuse XT here
, and read the full announcement for their ‘Advanced Radiometry’ version here