Drone thermal imaging is quickly revolutionizing the worlds of public safety and home and building maintenance.
After all, aerial thermal imaging helps police find suspects or missing persons on hard-to-traverse terrain – in the daytime through canopies of trees or building structures, or at night in all kinds of conditions. Thermal imaging also helps firefighters see through smoke, find trapped people and identify hazardous “hot spots” that require special firefighting strategies. And on the building maintenance front, use of thermal imaging technology has exploded, with thermal photos and video capturing hidden water infiltration or energy loss.
“We’ve had a three-fold increase in the number of public safety and home inspection clients in the past year alone,” says Professional Drone Services owner and founder Wayne Franks. “Thermal imaging has quickly become indispensable.”
Here’s a quick roundup of thermal imaging services we offer, and how how they can help you, your business or your department.
Among our many thermal imaging services is moisture detection and energy efficiency assessment for homes and commercial structures. Especially when done in conjunction with thermal photos and videos shot from the ground, aerial thermal imaging detects hidden moisture and energy loss.
And we use nothing less than FLIR’s legendary thermal cameras. They make damage estimation and reporting trouble-free, with the most comprehensive, accurate measurements, analysis and information on the market. Not only do FLIR thermal cameras offer the highest resolution possible – they offer the most versatile thermal image color representations.
The advanced features on our FLIR thermal cameras help us quickly scan large areas to assess what is restorable. They also help us pinpoint water intrusion, find moisture beneath the surface and document dryness with accuracy and confidence. We can also speed up surveys with our cameras’ automated humidity alarms. And reporting is so simple and easy to share, since a FLIR camera includes software that supports templates, spell-check, and easy conversion of reports and images to PDF format for trouble-free emailing.
Specifically, we use DJI’s ZenMuse XT camera – powered by FLIR – and mount it on our DJI Matrice 210 drone along with the industry’s best standard-vision drone camera for moisture detection – the DJI ZenMuse X5. Only the DJI Matrice 210 offers the dual mount for cameras, eliminating the need for two flights (one to ID an anomaly with a thermal camera, the other to confirm it with a standard-vision camera).
Here’s how FLIR cameras help us detect hidden moisture: Water that’s been collecting is colder than the environment around it (mainly because of the cooling effect of evaporation), so it will show up as a different color. And even if the moisture is inside a structure like a wall, floor or ceiling, the surface concealing it will still appear cooler.
Our home and building energy assessments work the same way – the thermal imagery shows heat loss in the very same way, with escaping warm air a different color than the outside air.
As soon as we capture the imagery and data, we can live-stream it to any computer. You can also can walk away with a hard drive of it all as soon as the drone lands. This speed and accuracy – as well as the ability to generate reports – is important for several end users:
- Insurance companies, which need information fast to start claims work
- Renovation contractors, so they can thoroughly and accurately understand the scope of the restoration work
- Building and home inspectors, who need to provide accurate information to potential home buyers
- DIY homeowners and building managers, so they can more fully understand the scope of the damage. It also helps them start the claims process with an insurance company as soon as possible or do their own repairs.
Learn more about how our thermal imaging services can help you or your business! Contact us online! Or give us a call, at (832) 856-8556.
Drone Thermal Imaging For Public Safety
More and more fire and police departments are realizing the need for drones when it comes to public safety.
For instance, first responders and law enforcement officials are turning to thermal imaging via drones to:
- Help find people (search and rescue missions)
- Better fight fires
- Reduce poaching
- Reconstruct accidents
- Stop the trafficking of drugs and people
- Assess damage from floods and other disasters and assist in SWAT, high-risk and hazardous materials situations.
However, the cost and lack of training are just two of the roadblocks preventing most public safety agencies from having an in-house drone program. That’s where we come in – as an inexpensive, third-party specialist – there on a moment’s notice with the highest-resolution imagery and instant-sharing capabilities that give you the best data in the shortest amount of time.
“Flying drones also requires training, practice and getting the proper FAA licensing,” says PDS owner Wayne Franks. “Airspace waivers are also required to fly in restricted airspace like local airports, and those waivers take time to get. Also, drone equipment – especially for thermal photography and imagine – is expensive.”
A in-house drone program, he adds, also means investing in a variety of lenses and accessories – like different camera lenses, batteries, propellers and SD cards. This equipment needs constant updating, as the technology continually evolves, or replacing if the lack of training/practice causes your drone to crash.
If that’s not enough, you also need to be insured for at least $1 million in liability insurance to fly a drone. And if you’re a firefighter, policeman or other public safety official, your particular skills are needed more to do your job saving lives and protecting the public than they are for flying a drone.
Could your department benefit from our thermal imaging services? Just contact us online! Or give us a call, at (832) 856-8556.
Drones for Firefighting
Out of 30,000 fire departments in the U.S., only 1,000 of them are using drones, according to 2017 statistics. And those who are have dealt with a shortage of boots on the ground, as a capable firefighter is caught up operating the drone and sharing shots and footage.
Our drone thermal imaging, in contrast, provides the chance to bring in outside expertise in a timely manner – freeing up firefighters to do their main job. Our thermal imaging video can be live-streamed to experts, so they can weigh in on the best possible way to fight the fire.
Aerial video also captures invaluable footage that can be used for training purposes without putting anyone at risk.
Finally, thermal cameras can point out hot spots, so firefighters can know which areas of the fire may be the most dangerous or potentially hazardous to address.
Cost is the major obstacle to an in-house drone program, according to FLIR expert Randall Warnas, with 70 percent of survey respondents saying that’s why their department doesn’t have a drone program.
Find out more about our aerial thermal imaging capabilities for firefighters. Just contact us online! Or give us a call, at (832) 856-8556.
Drones for Police and Law Enforcement
Out of 18,000 fire departments, nationwide, only 800 are using drones. But most agree that drone technology is invaluable, especially when it comes to search and rescue missions.
“White-hot” and “black-hot” thermography color palettes have been used for years to find missing persons or track down suspects. But the traditional aircraft used for such missions, like helicopters or small airplanes, have been too cost-prohibitive for most departments.
Lightweight drones have made this service much more affordable. FLIR thermal cameras (used by Professional Drone Services of Texas) have also made the technology more applicable for police work and law enforcement. For example, FLIR cameras now offer what’s called “blended imagery” – the best of what visible light cameras and infrared/thermal cameras can capture – all in one picture. This eliminates the need for multiple trips (one for a thermal image and one for a visible light image), thus reducing the time and money needed to produce helpful images. Such images are needed in cases where visual elements needed for police work (i.e. license plates, signs, patterns on clothing, placards, etc.) don’t necessarily generate distinct thermal properties that can be seen via infrared camera.
FLIR cameras also eliminate the problem of making a target difficult to find with white-hot/black-hot thermal imaging cameras without a temperature difference of at least 30 degrees. That’s because you can set a range of temperatures (i.e. human body temperature) that are highlighted in color, making them stand out on a white-and-black thermal image.
Interested in learning more about our thermal imaging capabilities?
Contact us online for more information, or give us a call: (832) 856-8556