Thermal, or infrared, sensors enable drone operators to see invisible temperature data. Deployed on drones, thermographic sensors make it possible to collect radiometric data over wide areas and hard-to-reach places. Recent advances, such as built-in visual imaging, heat analytics, and infrared intelligence, have made thermal analysis accessible and cost-effective for a wide range of applications, such as:
Collect your own thermal data using drones: get a drone and thermographic sensor from our portfolio of vetted drone hardware.
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Avoid technical and time-intensive thermal data processing by hiring PrecisionHawk's data team to produce maps and models.
New to thermography? Already using infrared data but haven’t tried drones? Here’s how to make the case for a drone-based thermography investment--we identify the four criteria of a strong business case and offer guidance on how to present it, including:
Learn from our experience working with leaders in major industries, government, and Fortune 100 enterprises and present a winning drone-based thermography business case.
Thermal sensors range in resolution, framerate, and temperature sensitivity. Choosing the right drone-based thermal sensor starts with considering your goals, in terms of precision and quality, and how you’ll be using the data. For example, if you just need a rough location of hotspots in a building envelope a simple thermal-only sensor--such as DJI’s Zenmuse XT--might suffice. However, if you need to reference precise thermal signatures in equipment against high-resolution visual images, you should consider a high-resolution dual-sensor configuration like the FLIR Duo Pro R. For agriculture applications, use a sensor that captures multispectral and thermographic information in a single flight.
Our team of thermographers has vetted each sensor in our portfolio for various industrial applications. They’ve evaluated the quality of thermographic output and sensitivity to radiometric signals.
The FLIR Duo® Pro R matches a high-resolution radiometric thermal sensor and 4K color camera to deliver dual-sensor imaging in a drone-sized package. While flying, you can view thermal and color imagers and record video and stills to two microSD cards. The sensor’s integrated GPS receiver, IMU, magnetometer, and barometer georectify orthomosaics without necessitating external controllers. Set color palettes, image specifications, PWM inputs all in a flight interface.
The Zenmuse XT2 brings together FLIR’s high-resolution thermal sensor and 4K camera with DJI’s stabilization and machine intelligence. Its high-sensitivity imager comes in a fully-integrated dual payload that integrates with DJI’s enterprise drones. The Zenmuse XT2’s IP44-rated housing allows pilots to fly in difficult conditions, such as rain, snow, and smoke.
The Zenmuse XT captures thermal imaging in two thermal resolution options (640 x 512 or 336 x 256). Fly it on DJI’s Inspire 1 and Matrice 100, 200, and 600 series drones. Use the DJI Go app to adjust color palette and level and span.
In selecting a drone for aerial thermography, consider the sensor you plan to deploy and the environments in which you’ll fly. Most thermal sensors are of a size and weight such that you can deploy them on a medium-sized drone, such as DJI’s Matrice 200 V2.
To gather thermography with precise geolocation data, you’ll need a drone that can fly with RTK equipment, such as DJI’s M210 V2 RTK.
The M200 is the ideal drone platform for infrared sensing, as flight stability and gimbal performance are essential to capturing clear, crip thermographic data. The dual-battery system heats batteries for flying in low temperatures and its enclosed design make it rugged against the toughest flight conditions. Our M200 V2 drone packages come with sensors, batteries, and controllers--everything you need for a thermal deployment.
Looking for a single, turnkey package to get you quickly collecting thermal data? We’ve assembled a Ready-to-Fly thermal package, featuring DJI’s M200 V2 drone, the Zenmuse XT2, batteries, controllers, and everything else you need to get flying now.
Get in touch now and get ready to take off.
In many applications, thermography can be more advanced than taking photos on your drone. In fact, there’s a certification for it. If you need to collect, process, and analyze precise thermographic data, we can help.
PrecisionHawk offers a staff of on-demand thermal (infrared) drone pilots available for single-day data capture or months-long projects.
Back in our data analysis center, our thermographers can process thermal data and produce a wide range of maps and models.
If you’d like to fly thermal sensors yourself, but need a little help getting off the ground, our expert pilot team offers a 2-day training course. It’ll teach you everything you need to know about collecting thermal data via drone. Classroom and field training include hardware, flight planning, safety, airspace, and other flight operations issues. We can come to your place or host you at ours.