As dealing often with dangerous hazards and complex built systems, the construction and industrial industries are requiring many kinds of monitoring to certify that the site is fully efficient and to prevent issues of happening.
Among all the necessary measuring methods being currently used by these sector is present thermography. Also known as infrared thermography (IRT) or thermal imaging, it is based on the infrared radiation of a subject (object, body or place) in relation with its temperature. Recording wavelengths invisible to the naked eye (infrared), the images obtained by using a thermal camera are called thermograms.
Thanks to the data that can be collected, several applications are currently undergone with this method including the buildings thermal diagnosis, the temperature measurements used to monitor production lines and industrial facilities, locating people during search and rescue missions, monitoring areas after fires or other natural or industrial disaster, the detection of water scarcity in agriculture and many others.
In concrete terms, thermography is used especially in the construction industry in order to analyze the thermal losses of buildings. It allows to identify the energy loss (heat loss) of each building through a color chart associated with a temperature scale generated. Such an operation allows to take effective measures afterwards that will save time and money while saving planet Earth: these technical details are fundamental to the renovation and improvement of the energy performance of a building. In some cases, it can also spot leaks or underline places where measures are to be taken rapidly in order to avoid any incident.
All data thus collected during thermal scanning are then used to generate extremely accurate thermographic maps focused either to a single building, a specific area or even an entire region.
Countless kind of thermal cameras exists, with different characteristics such as precision and weight, that can be used in many ways like by handling the camera, mounting it on a vehicle, etc.
Hopefully, as several of these thermal cameras are having a compact design and being lightweight at the same time, such technology has already been embedded on UAVs for a couple years already. This allows to conduct demanding missions in the quickest possible way, saving time and avoiding risking lives. Moreover, thanks to the aerial angle from which the recordings are performed, the aerial thermal images unveil areas that were previously harder to monitor. As a matter of fact, scanning a roof or high altitude elements is no longer requiring a ladder. Aerial thermographic vision by drone is highly relevant since the majority of heat loss from a building concerns the roof in the first place followed by walls and windows.
Thanks to their robustness, precision and efficiency, our UAVs have been adopted by professional seeking quality material for their aerial thermographic operations. Both Flir and Optris thermal cameras are currently embedded on some OnyxStar drones. By being highly compact and lightweight but greatly powerful, the XENA-8F and the FOX-C8 are the best suitable solutions for thermography application by UAV.
Example of domains in which missions are undergone by drones with thermal cameras:
- Photo voltaic power plants
- Pipeline inspection
- Construction & Building monitoring
- Firefighting – Public Safety
- Flat roofs
- Animals & Ecology