In this informative article, we will discuss the top thermal vision cameras for drones and their uses in industry. After a deep research, we share with you a list of top thermal cameras includes cameras from companies like FLIR, DJI, and Yuneec.
What is a Thermal Camera?
Thermal cameras for drones are used by people to reveal those aspects not visible to the naked eye, and it is made possible through the electromagnetic spectrum, which utilizes infrared radiation to illustrate different temperatures with pinpoint accuracy. Since the last two decades, its commercial use is hitting the skies.
How does thermal imaging work?
They are heat-detecting sensors that make a pictorial or video representation from heat.
Drone manufacturers have designed these sensors to inspect minor differences in temperature, which are as low as 0.01 degrees Celsius. The thermal software apps portray this information.
Other names of thermal cameras are:
- Heat Sensor Camera
- Thermal Heat Vision Sensor
- Temperature Sensor camera
- Hear vision camera
- Thermal imaging sensor
Top Thermal Vision Cameras for Drones
Our list of top thermal vision cameras for drones includes FLIR thermal imaging vision cameras as well as DJI and Yuneec thermal cameras.
But first let me introduce you the leader designer & manufacturer – FLIR – thermal cameras for drones.
What is a FLIR ?
The FLIR system leads to the manufacturing of infrared cameras for UAVs and ground-based. They make heat vision cameras of a variety of resolutions, lenses, fields of view, thermal frame rate, measurement accuracy, and color scale.
FLIR is the number one drone for imagery, and scientists use it for thermal inspection. It has thermal Cameras for drones:
FLIR Vue Pro
it’s a fantastic flight controller integration camera that creates a turnkey thermal camera, data collection device, and onboard recording. It is tremendously economical and powerful.
FLIR Vue Pro R
from an aerial view, captures non- contact temperature measurements accurately and makes the images with calibrated temperature data in every pixel. The new Vue Pro R gives both certified choreographers and drone operators the power to assemble exact, non-contact temperature measurements. All of these qualities will add value to your operations of thermal imaging.
It also adds full radiometric data for UAS applications from building and roof inspections, public safety, agriculture, and power grip inspection.
FLIR Duo Pro R
it’s unique quality is that it features a high definition 4k color video camera in one integrated package. It gives the operator the perks to capture actionable visible and thermal data in a single flight.
FLIR Duo Pro
comes with a lightweight body and dual-sensor thermal and visible light imagery designed for drones.
Top thermal vision cameras for drones
DJI Zenmuse XT2
It allows the professionals to capture and record temperature data at the pixel level to produce accurate insights. It also exhibits a high-resolution FLIR thermal sensor and a 4k visual camera with DJI’s stabilization and machine technology that transform aerial data into powerful insights.
some of its significant features are:
- Temperature Alarm
- FLIR MSX
- Color Palette choices
- Heat track
FLIR DUO-Thermal Camera For Drones with GOPRO GIMBAL:
The also has a dual sensor feature that allows you to view thermal and visible light images. It is a much cheaper alternative to IR cameras. Yet it performs substantially during the flight. But do not expect to give professional-level quality because it does not provide that much precision.
It has two sensors, thermal and full-color. The full-color one gives a slot FHD image and video quality, and it can even provide a picture in picture effects along with thermal counterpart. You can also set up two camera functions that will work with PWM’s help to have close control of your camera despite the distance. FLIR Duo also supports mini USB, micro SD, and mini HDMI for onboard recording; hence you can expect no drawbacks.
It is the most user-friendly one compared to others mentioned in this article. Along with being cheap, it doesn’t expect a demanding set up either. It can fit in your GoPro drone gimbal. There is also an R version of Flir Duo, which integrates other characteristics in the form of a radiometric system that assures pixel-perfect temperature measurements for the most tricky tasks.
FLIR Vue Pro 640 19MM:
It has 640 x 512 resolution with a 19mm lens that has 32 x 24 and 32 x 26 field of view according to your circumstances. This camera records the 30Hz video, and it is beneficial for people who need persistent and accurate temperature sensing in a specific area. FLIR Vue Pro also delivers Bluetooth, PWM controls, onboard video and image recording, etc. It has everything like FLIR Vue pro R except radiometric technology. A radiometric technique allows the camera to pick up additional data revolving around temperatures in captured frames. This camera comes in different lens sizes according to your desired FOV.
Yuneec Yuncgoetus Thermal Camera and Gimbal:
This model can be ascended on Yuneec’s flagship Typhoon H when it comes to drone support and is easy to set up and gives no errors. Since it exhibits several different color palettes, it will allow better visualization of heat sources.
It is a high-end thermal camera, a product of Yuneec manufacturer. It’s main features include:
- IR with an integrated gimbal
- Dual sensors
- Records infrared and FHD standard videos
DJI Zenmuse XT Premium/ FLIR Thermal Camera-
It is available in a 640*512 or 336*256. It is compatible with DJI Inspire1, Matrice 100, 200, and 600 series.
FLIR Vue Pro R 640 19mm (ultimate infrared camera for drone):
FLIR Vue Pro 640 19mm is the best version among all FLIR Vue Pros as this one has radiometric properties. The R in the name denotes radiometric quality that it has, and 19mm is the lens size. It Is currently the most advanced thermal camera for UAVs because FLIR has used radiometric technology for the first time in one of their thermal cameras. The standard thermal cameras only have IR sensors used to determine the different temperatures and differentiate them through various color palettes or adjustable filters of heat. It also gives precise temperature readings of each pixel present in the frame; hence it gives you a tremendous amount of data at disposal. In the case with other FLIR Vue models, the Pro R also aids onboard video and image storage. It can capture MJPEG and H-264 video formats along with 14-bit images to a micro SD card.
Other features include:
- PWM commands
- MAV Link compatibility for automated imagery and geotagging
- Control of color palettes, recordings, and ratio on your camera.
Also, FLIR Vue Pro R 640 19mm uses” uncooled Vox Microbolometer as it’s a thermal imager and outputs 640 x 512 max resolution.
This model has a 19mm lens and has 32 x 26 FOV for full sensor digital output and 32 x 24 for NTSC analog output. Above all, it records 30Hz videos.
This model is the best choice for IR inspection companies because of its pixel-perfect thermal readings quality. The cherry on the top is you can combine it with iOS and Android apps via Bluetooth, therefore it will give remarkable data along with the thermal report for every pixel you recorded on microSD CARD.
All in One kit for Thermal Imagery
Finding an excellent thermal camera, an adequate aerial platform, and a supported gimbal is very difficult to find for some people. So they prefer buying ready to use kits, that are of course pricey but worth it if it saves your energy.
DJI INSPIRE 1 equipped with Zenmuse X5 and XT
The above combination will cost you a few thousand dollars, but it eases a lot of your burden. It ensures crystal clear 4k images/videos with incredible quality and buttery smooth stabilization. Specifications include:
- 2km range
- Flight time of 15 minutes
It is a bulky drone when equipped with Zenmuse X5 or XT. But the flight time is durable.
It is a comprehensive bundle if you want 4k aerial videos or thermal imagery, and it is worth the price.
Uses of drones with Thermal Cameras?
Thermal camera drones usage has exceeded those of regular drones, their influence is that powerful this, and several industries are using it. They have the quality to detect heat from all objects and materials.
Which Industries are Profiting from Drones with Thermal Changes?
Let us discuss several industries below:
Technology-based agricultural companies use the drones equipped with HD cameras. these Drones with thermal cameras collect IR data, which shows irrigation, crop yield diseases, and ripeness which make all of it a lot easier than before.
- Search and Rescue:
For hard-to-reach terrain missions, drones have proven themselves exceptionally useful.
Power Grid Inspection: the thermal cameras effectively recognize parts that have caused the failure, at a very economical cost that is cheaper than man labor.
Solar Panel Inspection: Since solar cells tend to overheat or there is damage due to excessive dust, mechanical issues, so solar panels need frequent IR inspection.
I believe I have covered all the essential information serious buyers will search for, before investing. Yet if you need further technical details and a comparison with several other models in the market, you need to bring up your research game more. I wish you luck!