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Thermal Data in Pilot App Said to Produce Poor Results
A LCUAS Inspire 1 utilizing a DJI Zenmuse XT FLIR camera overflies a training burn inside a shipping container at Poudre Fire Authority’s fire training grounds. LCUAS team members were experimenting with and training on thermal imaging capabilities on drones. (Fort Collins, Colorado)

Thermal Data in Pilot App Said to Produce Poor Results

A reader that saw my webinar on the use of the thermal camera asked me a very technical question and I had to turn to a leading thermal camera company for an answer.

An unnamed expert source said this about the current implementation of the thermal camera in the Pilot app; “Here’s the last point to keep in mind: the implementation of these parameters in the Pilot app was done incorrectly and produce very poor results. They also don’t take into account the camera’s spot size ratio.”

The recommendation to pass on is “it’s best to leave these values alone in a flight, concentrate on capturing the imagery you need, and adjust them after the fact in FLIR Tools if possible. If you need real-time values because of the nature of your mission, leave these parameters at their default values and they will give you what’s called an “apparent temperature.” This value may or may not be true within the accuracy spec of the camera (+/-5C).”

Just something that is probably good to know to help you get the best results.

About Steve Rhode

Steve is an experienced and certificated UAS pilot and aircraft instrument rated pilot. He is also the Chief Pilot with the Wake Forest Fire Department and North Carolina Public Safety Drone Academy.

One comment

  1. IMHO, no one should be allowed to operate FLIR in public safety w/o completion of a formal training course on Infrared science. One cannot learn this “on the job.”

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