Choosing a Thermal Imaging (FLIR) System

Posted by Kerry 03/08/2016 1 Comment(s) News,

Multicopter Warehouse is a leading provider of thermal imaging systems going back to custom solutions we had developed for use on the Phantom 2. Today, the preferred platform is the DJI Inspire 1 due to its better performance and greater wind resistance. We currently have two different solutions, each with their own advantages. While the FLIR camera core is the same between the two systems, the mounting and control systems are very different.

FLIR Camera Resolution

With both systems, there is a choice of camera resolution. The most common is the 336x256 resolution which is adequate for most needs while the 640x512 will provide better detail, which can be useful for certain applications.

Lens Size

All of the FLIR cameras are available with your choice of three different lenses, 9mm, 13mm, and 19mm. The larger the focal length the more "zoom" effect it will have. The most popular lens choice is the 9mm lens which provides a wider field of view.

FLIR Vue Pro 640 9mm

FLIR VUE Pro 640 Resolution, 9mm Lens

FLIR Vue Pro 640 13mm

FLIR VUE Pro 640 Resolution, 13mm Lens

FLIR Vue Pro 640 9mm

FLIR VUE Pro 640 Resolution, 19mm Lens

System Selections

Multicopter Warehouse offers two different systems for mounting the FLIR cameras. The MCW FLIR Kit, designed and built by Multicopter Warehouse attaches to the rear of the DJI Inspire 1 and is a completely independent system from the Inspire 1 and contains its own battery and video transmitter, along with a ground station monitor for receiving the video signal from the FLIR camera. The MCW FLIR kit features a dampened mount to reduce vibrations and the angle of the FLIR camera is adjustable on the ground (usually around 45 degrees) and maintains a fixed position in flight. A key advantage of the MCW FLIR kit is that the pilot maintains the use of the Inspire 1's daylight camera while providing a secondary feed for the thermal image.

The DJI XT Thermal Camera system replaces the daylight camera on the Inspire 1 with a FLIR camera that is built into a 3-axis stabilized gimbal. The video feed from the FLIR camera is sent through the Inspire 1's Lightbridge system and is fully integrated into the DJI GO mobile application. The key advantages of the DJI XT camera are the integration with the app, allowing for changing of the color pallets in the air and the 3-axis stabilized gimbal provides a smoother image. The downside to the XT system is that it can be harder to operate the aircraft when looking at a thermal image rather than a daylight camera image.

Dual Video Feed: Yes
Stabilized FLIR: No
FLIR Video Recording: Optional
FLIR Video Transmit Range: 1 mile
Price: 336/$2,374.30 640/$3,824.23 **

Dual Video Feed: No
Stabilized FLIR: Yes
FLIR Video Recording: Yes
FLIR Video Transmit Range: 3 mile
Price: 336/$5,998 640/$9,998 **

** DJI Inspire 1 aircraft sold separately

Making The Right Choice

When you are ready to get started with thermal imaging, contact one of our thermal imaging consultants at Multicopter Warehouse so we can help you choose the right system for your specific application.

1 Comment(s)

Cindy Tesler:
Reply

Thanks for pointing out that the most popular choice in lens size is 9mm which provides a wider field of view. You also mention that there is a choice for camera resolution, such as the 336x256 which is adequate for most needs. I think it's a good idea for parking lot services to have not only lights in their parking areas but infrared cameras as well so that their patrons can be assured that their vehicles are being properly monitored.

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