What is Thermography?

what is thermography and how is it used in the air
what is thermography and how to apply it from the air

All objects with a temperature above absolute zero give off infrared radiation, and the intensity of the radiation released increases as the temperature of the object rises. A thermal imaging camera is designed to detect this radiation intensity and render the different temperatures recorded into artificial colours so that the human viewer can ‘see’ these temperature differences and values.

Visible light forms only a small part of the electromagnetic spectrum, and the only part we can see. When pointed at an object or area, the sensor on a thermal camera allows the viewer to see the hidden infrared spectrum, which exists at wavelengths between visible light and microwaves.

Ordinary digital cameras, like the human eye, detect visible light as it bounces around on and off surfaces/objects. This visible light is then focused through a lens system onto a surface that translates the light rays/beams into electrical signals and ultimately to form an image. Unlike normal digital cameras, thermographic cameras detect radiation emitted from a surface as heat, not visible light. Heat (infrared or thermal energy) and light are both parts of the electromagnetic spectrum, but a camera that can detect visible light won’t see thermal energy, and vice versa. Thermal cameras capture infrared energy and use the data to create the images we use in thermography.

Thermographic applications for aerial infrared cameras?

After being initially created for military use during the Korean War, thermal imaging cameras have evolved into an important tool in a wide range of sectors. Firefighters use aerial thermal imaging to see through smoke, detect fire hotspots, and perform search and rescue operations in the field. Police agencies employ the technology for various purposes, including surveillance, crime scene investigation, and tracking and apprehending criminals (aerial thermal imaging was used to arrest one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects who was hiding beneath a tarp on a boat at the time of the attack).

In the commercial aerial UAV world, we can use this technology in several unique ways.

UAV drone DJI M600 used in thermal imaging
UAV drone DJI M210 used in thermal imaging
UAV drone with a DJI XTr radiometric used in thermal imaging
Certified to Category 2 Thermography
  • Wastewater Management

    Water pollution locations are identified using airborne thermal imaging, which is used by municipalities to detect potential pollution sources. When it comes to monitoring irrigation on large-acreage farms, this technology is quite effective.

  • National Infrastructure

    Power line maintenance workers use aerial thermography to detect overheating joints and parts to avert possible power outages. It is also used by building technicians to locate heat leaks that reduce the effectiveness of cooling and heating systems.

  • Roof Inspections

    Water ingress through a failing flat roof can be detected easily as the penetrating water heats up during the day from the effects of solar irradiation and as water keeps its heat more efficiently than the roofs surrounding substructure, shows clearly when seen via a infrared camera.

  • Solar Photovoltaic Panels

    Solar Panels installed on the roofs of domestic housing as well as vast areas of farming land now repurposed as Solar Farms require regular inspection and survey to determine cell, array and panel defects. Inspecting from the sky by using a drone equipped with a thermal camera makes the job quick, efficient, cost effective and accurate.

  • Landfill Underground Fire Detection

    Inspecting temperature differences over large landfill regions is easier from the sky using UAV drones equipment with thermal imaging cameras. Underground fire is a real and serious risk in older waste landfill sites and require constant management to determine temperature rises

DJI Zenmuse XT

With the DJI Zenmuse XT radiometric, thermal photography from the air has never been more easy, accessible or convenient. The Zenmuse XTr is ideal for quick and dependable airborne thermal imaging missions because it combines DJI’s unrivalled experience in gimbal technology and picture transmission with FLIR’s market-leading thermal imaging technology. It records images fast and precisely across large areas, at radiometric level which affords later manipulation, analysis and detailed reporting.

Why work with Drone Media Imaging for your Thermal Inspection needs?

Drone Media Imaging’s are level 2 thermographers who specialise in aerial thermal deployment. We have extensive experience in all areas of thermographic inspection, roofs, solar panels, and fire detection and management. We deploy using the latest technology and equipment, quickly and easily throughout the UK, taking care of your requirements from mission planning, legal read tape through to data analysis and reporting.

Call To Find Out More

It is not unusual for organisations to have their own set of requirements. Please get in touch and speak with us to discuss your specific requirements, receive further technical information, or find out more about our services.

Old landfill waste disposal site fire detection
thermal detection of roof heat loss
Solar photovoltaic panel inspection

Aerial Thermography Specialists - Get in touch today!

We are certified and approved drone pilots and work throughout the UK to provide both aerial and ground based photography, video/filming and thermography services. Fully insured and certified by the CAA with enhanced permissions for day and night time flights