Micro Infrared Thermal Drone Cameras for High Resolution Thermographic Imaging

A New Mode of Intelligent Routine Inspection

Feature Article by iRay Technology
A New Mode of Intelligent Routine Inspection

IRay Technology Co., Ltd. (InfiRay) discuss the advantages of combining unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) with thermal imaging technologies, widely used in fire protection, powerline inspection, industry, construction, transportation, and scientific research.

The routine inspection capability of UAVs has improved. Thermal imaging technologies enable UAVs to timely identify abnormal high-temperature and low-temperature areas without being affected by light, smoke, and mist. UAVs can find various problems and causes in target areas through round-the-clock and real-time monitoring, and are capable of observing the basic surface as well as conducting routine inspection with in-depth observation and analysis.

The disaster relief capacity of UAVs has also improved. With the application of thermal imaging technologies, UAVs have become more powerful in fast people search and fast source positioning, making them an important tool for post-disaster rescue, fire source confirmation, and daily police search.

The combination of “UAV + thermal imaging technologies” realizes night vision tracking and heat source detection without the limitations of space, terrain, and light. In this way, UAVs have upgraded from “eyes in the sky” to “eyes visualizing heat”, they have greater capabilities and broader application fields, including fire rescue, electric routine inspection, environmental protection supervision, routine inspection and enforcement, and wildlife research.

Fire & Rescue

Fire and Rescue with UAV Thermal CamerasThermal cameras have sophisticated imaging performance and environment-sensing performance and are capable of penetrating smoke, rain, and mist under any light conditions. Therefore, they help to find fire hazards in time, quickly locate fire points, and improve fire extinguishing and rescue efficiency.

With great temperature-sensing ability, thermal cameras can clearly distinguish the temperature of people from that of the surrounding environment and accurately find the location of people stranded, even at night, to ensure timely rescue. At present, they are widely available for fields such as: urban fire protection, forest fire prevention, maritime rescue, post-disaster personnel and search & rescue.

Routine Powerline Inspection

Routine Powerline Inspection with UAV Thermal CamerasThermal imaging technology features long-distance, non-contact, non-sampling, etc. The combination of infrared thermal cameras and UAVs is free from the limitation of light and space. It enables large-area scanning and detection of electrical wires and obtains clear and accurate thermal images for users to observe and accurately locate trouble spots. It is a solution with the advantages of high security, high efficiency, and low routine inspection cost.

Routine Inspection of Photovoltaic Plants

Routine Inspection of Photovoltaic PlantsApplying UAVs equipped with thermal cameras for the routine inspection of photovoltaic (PV) plants enables high efficiency, accurate temperature measurement, and wide coverage with no impact on power generation. In terms of defect analysis and positioning, real-time infrared image storage matched with thermal imaging analysis software can timely identify hidden risks caused by hidden cracks, broken grids, hot spots, poor line contact, module deformation, and other defects of the PV panel. Therefore, the routine inspection of efficiency and fault diagnosis of PV plants can be greatly improved.

Environmental Protection & Supervision

Environmental Protection and SupervisionEnterprises generally discharge pollutants at night. As thermal cameras are not restricted by any light, weather, spatial, or terrain conditions, conducting lawfully unexpected inspections on enterprises at night, by using UAVs equipped with thermal cameras, can effectively identify whether waste water and waste gas treatment facilities and production equipment in the plant, are in operation and if there are any illegal emissions – leaving illegal activities detrimental to the environment nowhere to hide.

Law Enforcement

Law Enforcement with UAVsIn recent years, UAVs have been favored by enforcement departments due to their broad field of vision, quick emergency response, and low risk in enforcement. However, certain limitations still exist due to the interference of light and obstructions. By integrating UAVs with thermal cameras, the heat distribution in the environment can be displayed by the thermal imaging device, so that UAVs can find criminals even at night and under the cover of dense smoke, fog, and vegetation, further improving the ability of UAVs to identify camouflaged and concealed targets, promoting the efficiency of law enforcement, and effectively combating illegal and criminal acts such as smuggling and illegal fishing.

Wildlife Research

Wildlife Research with UAVsAlthough UAVs realize overhead observation, the ordinary visible light lens cannot pass through the dense canopy to find the animals hidden. UAVs integrated with thermal imaging technologies can identify the animals hidden in the forest because of the significant temperature difference between the animal’s body and the surrounding, which assists researchers in long-term mobile tracking and observation of animal populations and effectively improves the timeliness and accuracy of population quantity statistics. Using UAVs instead of sending investigators can reduce risks to personal safety when exploring deep into mountainous and forested areas and causes less interference to wildlife due to the non-contact characteristics of thermal cameras.

InfiRay Micro III Series Ultra-Small Professional Thermal Camera Core adopts a unique process and optimized circuit to produce a product that is extremely compact and lightweight, with low power-consumption.

Matrix III image algorithms and Altemp intelligent temperature measuring algorithms are adopted to output highly precise temperature measuring data. Rich data interfaces and comprehensive analysis functions make it easy to operate and quick to integrate, providing professional solutions for thermal imaging products for users in the UAV industry.

InfiRay Micro III Series Ultra-Small Professional Thermal Camera Core

Cherry Chip, Tiny Titan

  • Compact, neat cherry-like shape and size, easy to integrate
  • Lightweight & SWaP conscious for even the smallest UAVs
  • Extremely low power consumption alleviates heat dissipation concerns

Satisfying integrator’s demands regards scope and accuracy

  • The maximum 1280×1024 HD infrared resolution allows you to observe greater temperature details and delivers clearer infrared image quality
  • Meets the application needs of different industries with -20°C to +550°C wide-range temperature measurement, ±2 or ±2% high measurement accuracy, and fast and stable temperature measurement
  • The frame rate can reach 30Hz (50Hz optional), so that the video is smooth when observing high-speed moving targets or targets with rapid temperature changes
  • High sensitivity (0.04°C), providing HD images while rendering more details and detecting farther targets
    The Matrix III intelligent image algorithm not only provides accurate temperature data but also makes image details clearer

Equipped with interfaces, lenses, temperature measurement mode, secondary development, and more…

  • Various data interfaces adaptable to the UAV platform, effectively shortening the R&D cycle and reducing the R&D cost
  • Multiple focal length lenses are available to output high-quality infrared images, which can easily meet the detection demands of various application scenarios
  • Multiple palettes and temperature measurement modes help engineers conduct professional and comprehensive temperature analyses without missing any temperature anomalies
  • SDKs are provided to facilitate users’ integration development, improve practicability and feasibility, and benefit users
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Posted by Sarah Simpson Specialising in digital copy Sarah is an experienced copywriter and researcher. Working with Unmanned Systems Technology Sarah has developed a passion for sourcing unique digital content and a talent for writing about the latest technical innovations in the unmanned sector. Connect & Contact