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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

The Public Safety Flight website is dedicated to news, honest information, tips, and stories about the use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), UAVs, aircraft, and drones in the fire service and other public safety niches.The site was founded by Steve Rhode, an FAA-certificated airplane commercial and instrument certificated pilot and a very experienced Part 107 UAS commercial pilot. Steve is the Chief Pilot with the Wake Forest Fire Department and the North Carolina Public Safety Drone Academy. He also provides expert advice to drone pilots through Homeland Security Information Network and he is an FAA Safety Team drone expert. Steve loves to work closely with public safety pilots to answer questions and share information, real-world truth, and drone operation advice. You can contact Steve here, learn more about Steve here, or join his public safety pilot private email list here.

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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.”