Thermography with drones
The size of high-resolution thermal imaging cameras has decreased significantly over the past decade. Large handheld cameras have become centimetre-sized high-tech systems. Many manufacturers have already integrated high-quality thermal imaging cameras into drones. We give you an overview
Where are drones used?
The use of drones in agriculture, industry and security is increasing. In the field of thermography, they are mainly used as follows
- Assessments in the property and construction industry (thermal bridges or damage caused by moisture in roofs and facades), in agriculture (irrigation) or energy supply (power lines and photovoltaic systems)
- Search and Rescue (SAR for short): Search for missing persons by the German Red Cross (DRK), mountain rescue services and the police
- Surveillance of large areas and objects at night (in connection with perimeter protection)
- Detection of sources of fire by fire brigades
- Fawn search
Which drone and which camera?
Let's first take a brief look at the relevant manufacturers: The American company FLIR is the undisputed market leader for thermal imaging sensors, but does not offer any drones itself. To solve this problem, FLIR has been cooperating with the two major drone manufacturers DJI and Yuneec for several years. The result is seamlessly integrated thermal imaging systems
If you now take a look at the market, you will quickly discover the most important purchase criterion: The resolution of the camera. The price class is largely based on this. Growing unit numbers have caused prices to fall - but thermal imaging cameras have never been a bargain and certainly never will be. You are probably asking yourself: And what resolution do I need? Basically, the larger the area to be monitored, the higher the resolution should be. Or the further away I want to be from my target object, the higher the resolution I need. Of course, more resolution never hurts!
Once you have decided on a minimum resolution, you can narrow down your purchase candidates further by asking the following questions
- What features are important to me?
- What budget do I have available?
- Do I have suitable flying experience? (Flying without GPS support on facades)
- What size is my operational vehicle (sufficient power for recharging the batteries)
We have compiled the most popular thermal imaging drones for you:
DJI Mavic Enterprise DUAL: The compact and cost-effective solution with low resolution and high functionality. The thermal image can be overlaid with an outline image from the optical camera.
DJI Mavic 2 Series with MIR module: as compact as the Mavic itself, simply plug it in and get started. The lens can be selected and the price is still favourable at medium or even high resolution. The module can also be used without the aircraft. The display of the thermal image on a 2nd monitor.
The Yuneec H520 with E10-T offers a medium resolution and an interchangeable gimbal, high functionality and is ready for use in just a few steps. Here too, the optical image is superimposed on the thermal image in a selectable transparency.
DJI M300 H20T is the flagship among the thermal imaging solutions. The price is correspondingly high, but with the highest resolution, radiometric measurement and long flight time, it is the latest and most powerful model from DJI.
We are happy to help you with your purchase decision with a free consultation. We are also happy to share our experience of useful functions and possible applications with you.
Packages assembled and tested
We have put together ready-to-fly packages for you, which have already been positively tested many times by our customers. The packages include the aircraft, set-up, training and service & support for software and hardware. Benefit from our experience and expand your portfolio with a thermal imaging solution now!
In ourguide, we explain the technical context and explain in detail what you need to look out for when choosing a thermal imaging system