Four Reasons Drone Pilots Need Radiometric Thermal Zoom

Teledyne FLIR‘s VUE TZ20-R is a game changer for commercial drones, for applications from search and rescue to solar inspection.  In a recent webinar, Teledyne FLIR’s Kelly Brodbeck gives 4 reasons drone pilots need radiometric thermal zoom capabilities.

The VUE TZ20-R’s radiometric thermal zoom capabilities are the result of careful market research.  Since FLIR was acquired by Teledyne last year, “We’re a much bigger company these days,” says Brodbeck.  “Our combined companies really do address all of the measurement, imaging and data gathering you can do across the magnetic spectrum.”  Teledyne FLIR’s products are working on land, air and sea all around the world, and even on other planets – but some elements of imaging are constant.

“Getting closer to your subjects is always a good thing,” Brodbeck says. “On a drone, when you can’t be very close to your subject, it’s essential.”

What is Radiometric Thermal Zoom?

All photographers understand what it means to zoom in on an image.  Radiometry, explains Brodbeck “is the process of taking the information at every pixel in a thermal image and associating that information with something the human brain can understand, like a temperature.”

The ability to get absolute temperature information, rather than simply an understanding that an object is warmer or cooler than the surrounding environment, brings a new level of utility to the data.  “You get a lot more information out of thermal imagery,” says Brodbeck.

LE Drones - Four Reasons Drone Pilots Need Radiometric Thermal Zoom

The VUE TZ20-R is different from other thermal zoom cameras on the market in design and clarity. “Most products get very blurry – even misleading – at zoom,” Brodbeck points out. Dual BOSON cameras, one set to a narrow field of view and one set to a wide field of view, give drone pilots improved situational awareness while also enabling zoom at full resolution.

4 Reasons Drone Pilots Need Radiometric Thermal Zoom

The TZ20-R is great technology – but how does it add value?

Clear Radiometric Imagery
Clear and accurate radiometric imagery provides more real value for industrial inspections: from power lines to solar farms, radiometric data is critical to evaluating assets.

LE Drones - Four Reasons Drone Pilots Need Radiometric Thermal Zoom

The dual cameras provide an unprecedented field of view: and with a sensor that provides full resolution at zoom, pilots can zoom in on their targets to take a closer look, rather than having to fly to their targets. This means that pilots and stakeholders can see more in less time – and for applications like search and rescue, that could be a life-saving difference.

Whether a drone pilot is working to stay a safe distance away from power lines, or to follow a suspect in silence, flying from a safe stand off distance is often critically important. The ability to maintain a safe stand off, however, depends upon the ability of a sensor to deliver clear and accurate imagery from a distance.

That clear imagery, says Brodbeck, is all about enabling an appropriate response to a situation: whether that’s on an industrial energy site or an active crime scene. In the example illustrated below, more information gives stakeholders the information they need to accurately assess an event.

LE Drones - Four Reasons Drone Pilots Need Radiometric Thermal Zoom

“It’s all about making an appropriate decision,” says Brodbeck. “This is what the clarity of the TZ20-R enables.”

Finally, Teledyne FLIR offers a suite of products designed to maximize the effectiveness of thermal data. With a wide range of features and an efficient workflow, drone pilots can get the most from their flights by using Thermal Studio to generate sophisticated reports and manipulate data for optimized value.

The Teledyne FLIR VUE TZ20-R is one of the drone products released this year offering truly new functionality – and both drone pilots and their clients will always find new uses for better and faster data.

Law enforcement and other public safety agencies can use thermal imaging for a wide variety of applications.  Whether it’s monitoring a crowd at a public event, responding to a crime scene call, documenting an accident or searching for a lost person, an eye in the sky equipped with thermal imaging is a critical tool.  With the best thermal features on the market, smooth integration via a quick connection via the Skyport v2.0 gimbal, and no new app to learn, the Vue TZ20 is the ideal addition to optimize the utility of an agency’s Matrice fleet.

Read more about the VUE TZ20-R and the best practices for mapping with thermal drones.

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