Thermal imaging involves the detection of radiation in the thermal infrared part of the electromagnetic spectrum, from which data on temperature can be derived.
Mounting thermal imaging systems on UAVs offers a range of unique advantages over conventional methods for performing thermal surveys.
Unlike ground level surveys, UAV based surveys present fewer safety risks to the personnel involved (for example, by not requiring them to approach potentially hazardous machinery) whilst at the same time allowing sites to remain operational during the survey.
UAVs are a cost effective alternative to more conventional aerial platforms such as manned aircraft and satellites. We are able to offer much lower operational costs, greater flexibility (for example, being able to alter our course as the need arises) and the ability to operate from the site of interest, rather than having to travel to it from an airfield. UAVs provide a compromise between the data collected by manned aircraft and satellites, with the higher resolutions typically associated with manned aircraft surveys without the high costs required to fund such a survey.
Our ability to fly far lower than aircraft (between 0-120m, depending on ground cover), and much closer to the survey subject, means we can obtain more detailed imagery.
These advantages make UAV based thermal surveys ideal for a wide range of applications, including the identification of mechanical failures (such as on power lines), leak detection, insulation assessments and solar panel inspections (read more about our solar panel work) or see how thermal imagery helped improve the efficiency of the Weetabix factory.
We have a very high specification thermal imaging system which allows us to perform aerial surveys of the highest quality. This system collects raw thermographic videos which measure the temperature at every pixel. From this we can derive other deliverables including georeferenced images, temperature profiles, and 3D visualisations. The system has a thermal sensitivity of 40mK, allowing it to detect even the subtlest differences in temperature with accuracy levels of +/- 2°C. By having the ability to fly at different heights we can produce surveys with a range of spatial resolutions to best fit your requirements, with ground sample distances of between 3cm and 38cm.