Sensor – Thermal Camera

The camera we use for our thermal surveys is an Optris PI 450 – an imaging system which consists of a very lightweight camera connected to an on-board microcomputer. This high specification system is capable of producing products incomparable in terms of quality, accuracy and versatility.

Our thermal camera measures radiation in the thermal infrared part of the electromagnetic spectrum, between 7.5 and 13µm. Temperature increases as thermal radiation increases, and therefore we are able to derive accurate temperature data from our imagery. We can measure temperature between -20°C and 900°C, with a thermal sensitivity of 40mK allowing us to differentiate between even the subtlest changes in temperature. This is a highly accurate process, as the accuracy level of this sensor is +/-2°C. The camera has an optical resolution of 382 x 288, with a 62° field of view. The versatility of our systems means we can offer resolutions between 3cm and 37cm depending on the altitude of the UAV.

The raw data that we receive back from the camera comes in the format of a radiometric video, in which every pixel denotes a value of temperature at a rate of 12 ms/frame. This video is streamed live back to the cameraman, allowing them to gather the exact imagery required by the client. From this radiometric video we can extract radiometric stills, and where required convert these to more conventional video and image file formats. We can also derive a wide range of deliverables from these including 3D visualisations and models, temperature profiles (depicting changes both over distance and time) and automatic hot spot and cold spot detection. The software designed specifically for this camera is license free giving clients the ability to interrogate the imagery at a basic level themselves.

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