The best way to use thermal imaging drones
Thermal imaging is not something new. But putting it onto drones is. But no one is stupid enough to put thermal imaging camera on smartphones. Then why are people putting it on drones?Is aerial videography not fancy enough?
Before understanding why enterprises use thermal imaging drones, first you should understand the use of thermal imaging. As the name suggest, rather than capturing visible light, thermal imaging camera captures heat in the forms of infra-red radiation.
Other than checking body temperature in border crossings for infection control, thermal imaging is often used in scenarios including, but not limited to, surveying, firefighting and search and rescue. Despite the expected monochromatic image, thermal imaging is hugely helpful for the use cases mentioned.
Because of its characteristic in capturing light, thermal imaging camera can see what we can’t see with visible light. And it helps in finding almost invisible cracks. The way that thermal imaging helps to find those cracks are from the leak of interior heat, rather than a visible crack. The escaping heat from the cracks emits infrared radiation that can be captured by thermal imaging camera.
The same philosophy is commonly extended in looking for structural weaknesses in buildings, bridges, tunnels and more. But thermal imaging camera might not always able to reach wherever the surveyors want to see.
Therefore, enterprise drones are now commonly equipped with thermal imaging cameras. By flying a drone to the underside of a potentially dangerous bridge, it eliminates the risk to surveyors in close inspection of dangerous sites.
And drones can help to reach places that are almost unreachable. Observing the tower of a bridge is often difficult by either reeling a structuralist down from the top or by helicopter. With the use of thermal imaging drones, surveyors can now closely and safely monitor the structure of the tower without spending a huge sum of money.
For extreme cases like a natural disaster, a drone can survey multiple buildings in a short amount of time for a more efficient disaster response. And surveying structure is not the only way that thermal imaging drones are useful in the unfortunate event.
The heat seeking characteristic of thermal imaging droneis extremely helpful in searching for missing person. With the scale of height in observing a wide area and the capabilities of thermal imaging camera, thermal imaging drone can search a large scale of land within a short time.The heat signature of living human in wildness can pass through bushes and tall vegetations for search and rescue teams to locate any survivors.
The locate of living human in wilderness is also crucial for law enforcement. In tracking secret drug deals or illegal immigrants in the dark, thermal imaging drones can silently trace the personnel until a safer place before making the arrest for the safety of the officers, the detainee and the wider society.