Thermal Drones and Cameras
Thermal imaging drones and sensors from DJI and FLIR
A drone with a thermal camera has become an effective tool, helping to save lives, increase safety and gather real-time insights to boost efficiency, maximise return on investment and increase situational awareness.
Thermal drones can be used for public safety, firefighting, industrial inspection and agriculture.
Utilising the drone’s aerial perspective, a thermal camera can identify a heat source in the search for a missing person or spot heat abnormalities in electrical components.
In some cases, thermal cameras detect defects missed with the naked eye.
Mavic 2 Enterprise Thermal Camera Drones
Small, powerful, foldable thermal drones for everyday use.
Dual visual and thermal cameras in a single enterprise drone.
Compact, foldable and versatile: The Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced is a leading drone solution for firefighting, search and rescue, law enforcement, power inspection, and environmental protection.
Easily transportable and quick to deploy, it features high-class visual, thermal and zoom cameras in one integrated package and can be fitted with an RTK module.
- 48MP Visual Camera with 1/2” Sensor and 32x Digital Zoom
- 640 × 512px radiometric thermal camera, with 30Hz frame rate and 16x Zoom
- RTK Module (available separately) enables CM-level positioning, particularly suited to powerline inspection
- Generate up to 240 waypoints for automated and more complex missions
- Enhance missions with bright spotlight, loud speaker or beacon accessories
- Password protection keeps sensitive data safe
- Self-Heating Batteries
Mavic 2 Enterprise Thermal Comparison
Thermal sensors: Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced Vs Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual
The resolution of your thermal sensor can be the difference between success and failure.
And this comparison between the Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual and Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced shows why resolution matters.
The M2EA has superior camera specs, with a 640 x 512 px resolution and 30Hz frame rate. It is also a radiometric sensor. In comparison, the Dual has a 160 x 120 px, with 9Hz frame rate.
Matrice 300 Thermal Operations
Powerful commercial drone platform with multi-sensor capabilities.
DJI Matrice 300 Thermal Payloads
High-resolution thermal imaging for public safety, search and rescue and industrial inspection.
The M300 RTK is DJI's most powerful enterprise drone platform to date.
- Designed for Enterprise
- Carry up to three payloads simultaneously
- Perform in hostile weather conditions
- Advanced safety features
- Multiple thermal payloads available
- H20T: Thermal, zoom, wide angle and laser rangefinder
- TZ20-R: Dual thermal zoom
Thermal Drone Uses and Case Studies
Practical applications, use cases and sensor comparisons
Thermal Drones For Search And Rescue
Drones with thermal cameras have literally proved the difference between life and death.
There are numerous stories from around the world where a drone with a thermal sensor has detected a heat source of a missing person - sometimes coming to the rescue after an on-the-ground search has failed.
A drone with a thermal camera can cover large areas of ground quickly and can find people who are missing in difficult-to-see locations, such as long grass or woodland.
The video on the right shows the moment Southport Lifeboat crew used a thermal drone to rescue six missing people from treacherous sand dunes - finding them in less than five minutes. It would have taken at least an hour to conduct the same search using a traditional foot patrol.
Drones such as the Mavic 2 Enterprise Series or the M300 RTK can also be integrated with loud-speakers to communicate with missing people, as part of the rescue mission.
Thermal Drones For Firefighting
Thermal drone cameras are hugely beneficial for firefighting, providing an aerial view of the incident and helping to see through smoke and detect hotspots. This vital situational awareness - fueled by data-rich, real-time insights - drives better decision-making for better and safer incident response.
This image shows the advantages of using a thermal camera for fire and rescue. The thermal image of the same scene shows firefighters exactly where the hotspots are. It also confirms that the fire has not spread to the building below - information not clear using the visual data - which helps fire crews direct their efforts to the right part of the building.
Fire crews can also use thermal drones for HazMat operations.
Thermal Drones for Police and Public Safety
Police are deploying drones and sophisticated payloads - including zoom and thermal cameras - for a range of missions, including search and rescue, crime-scene investigation, crowd control, evidence-gathering, and accident reconstruction.
Unmanned aircraft have become a force multiplier for law enforcement teams, providing unprecedented views of a scene or incident - helping to fight crime, plan an effective response, and keep officers safe.
Thermal camera drones can see things that you couldn't spot with the naked eye, such as this police dog handler camoflaged into the dark background - and in some circumstances thermal optics can grant night vision to the drone operators, using heat signatures to identify people and objects after dark.
Thermal Drones For Agriculture
For years, farmers have walked their fields to monitor and analyse their crops. But this is changing with drones, and a UAV with a thermal camera can provide vital insights for agriculture.
For instance, optimising irrigation can be achieved by using thermal images to map the variability of water potential in the field.
Thermal cameras can also be used to detect water stress in crops, as stressed vegetation has an increased temperature.
Drones provide a fast and effective solution for capturing thermal data, which in turn can drive insights and boost agricultural processes.
Thermal Drones For Inspection
A drone with a thermal camera is a powerful tool for utility and building inspections, capturing data which helps operators make informed and timely decisions to bring about efficient resolutions.
Thermal cameras can be used to spot missing or damaged installations, water under roof membranes, external electrical issues, failed windows, and many other problems.
In the case of solar panel inspections, drones with thermal cameras can identify manufacturing defects, cracks, faulty inter-connectors, and temporary shadowing.
One of the most powerful aspects of a thermal camera is that it can detect and highlight problems that can be missed during a visual inspection.
This example, from Keltbray, demonstrates the advantages of a thermal camera for powerline inspection. The thermal camera identified an overheating cable joint (left image); a defect not visible during the visual inspection.
Related Blog Posts
Read blog posts and related articles on the heliguy™ blog.