How To Shoot & Read Thermal Drone Images (M2ED)
What’S going on guys Billy here and we have got the DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise to duel with us here today. This drone has a dual camera system on the mounted gimbal with one camera, shooting 12 megapixel photos and 4k video in regular color like we are used to, while the other shoots thermal images. So this drone, the one that’s actually sitting behind me right now – is one of the smallest that I know of that shoots. Thermal images, especially one that has that dual camera system that I was talking about, one that shoots color photos and one that shoots thermal photos. So what I want to do today is take a step back and look at how thermal imagery works as a whole and talk about why it would be beneficial.
So this right here is video taken on the thermal camera of the DJI Matic 2 Enterprise duel. You either have very little knowledge of what this means. You might be like me when I first started using this drone and have a general idea at what you’re looking at or you might be, a seasoned veteran in thermography, regardless. The first thing that you’ll notice is that the thermal image is somewhat blurry because of the low resolution. Camera what’s great is that we can turn on MSX, which uses the higher resolution color camera to outline the objects in the frame.
Just to give you an idea, I’ve put up some of the important camera specs of both cameras side-by-side, but what I really want to focus on in this video is how to read thermal photos taken from a drone. The matter to enterprise duel is just the drone that I’ll be using to capture my examples, so I figured a good place to begin would be to look at how thermal cameras work and I’m gonna make this very short, very basic and bare-bones. In fact, they’ve got a definition written down here in my phone, so basically, temperature information is captured through a special lens that focuses the infrared light onto a special camera sensor. That creates a pattern known as a thermogram. Now I’ve learned this information from a couple of different videos: I’ve watched and a couple of different sources.
I’M gonna leave those linked down in the description. So if you want to learn a little bit more about how this technology works, you go ahead check out. Those videos and learn a little bit more in depth. So first up, let’s go over some of the ins and outs of shooting thermal photos and videos with your drone. Now it’s not as easy as just pointing the camera and shooting sometimes for certain situations.
You’Re gonna have to go into the isotherm settings and dial in the high and low temperature in order to get an accurate reading, see thermal cameras can work like color cameras when they’re set to auto to adjust the exposure perfectly no matter what you are looking At in this case, with thermal photo, it’ll adjust the high in the low temperature, depending on what is in the frame, for example, looking at this roof here, we want to try and pinpoint hotspots to try and find underlying damage right now. The engines of the cars on the ground and the asphalt are hotter than the surface temperature of the roof. This means that we won’t get the best results by figuring out what the average temperature on the roof is. I can set the high and low temperature through the isotherm settings to accurately find hot spots and specific temperatures. This is something important to do and depends on the industry that you’re in there are different temperature levels.
You may be looking for whether you’re fighting a fire. Looking for someone in the woods or are inspecting a roof or even different instruments at a power plant, getting an accurate reading is crucial, no matter what you are doing and your images may prove to be useless. If you don’t set these temperatures accordingly, barring conditions will always play a factor so make sure you plan accordingly. Now, if you have a dual camera system, like the Mavic to enterprise, that I’m using you’ll, be able to shoot thermal and color photos simultaneously with the push of one button, if I shoot a MSX thermal photo, then the color photo will also be taken. When I go into the gallery I’ll be able to see both photos right there in sequential order.
This is important to do, because the thermal photos, no matter which drone you use, will be hard to use to determine where objects are and what they look like. This way, your client will be able to reference between both of the images, so that is pretty much the first and probably the most important thing that goes into shooting thermal photos with your drone. It’S nailing the high and the low temperature so that you get an accurate reading depending on what you’re going to be using this drone. For now I want to go into the color palettes. There is five of them on the Mavic to enterprise dual and a little bit tough, because, depending on which thermal camera you’re using you’re gonna have different color palettes to choose from higher-end systems are gonna, have a lot more color palettes to choose from, and Also, ground-based thermal cameras will most likely have more color palettes than are offered on the Maddock to enterprise duel.
So here’s a standard thermal MSX image taken in the rainbow palette, which shows heat throughout a different variation of colors, with the darker blue and black colors, showing cooler temperatures while the lighter red colors show hotter temperatures. For example, this building has a cooler temperature on the roof where the dark blue is at around 21. It’S 23 degrees Fahrenheit and the darker red area here on the side of the building is the hottest portion of the image at 46 to 48 degrees. The reason this side of the building was so hot is because the Sun was setting towards the west side of the building. Now my go-to palette is hot spot, which shows all of the cool spots in a dark black, while the warmer temperatures stick out in a light gray and the hottest temperatures stick out in a red and dark orange.
Looking back at this example of the same building, you’ll notice that the top is the lighter color, because that was where the coolest temperatures were, while the side of the building is lighting up bright, red and orange, because that was the hottest portion of the image. The other color palettes that are available are gray, which doesn’t show any colors. It’S just kind of a mixture of light and dark gray. We’Ve got hot metal, which is, in my opinion, the hardest to interpret because it’s just a mishmash of different reds and oranges, and then, finally, we have cold spot. You guys pretty much get the idea in terms of what’s available on the ematic to enterprise dual now, depending on which industry you will be using this thermal drone in or whatever thermal drone in, you might have a certain color palette.
That proves to be beneficial to your operation, or it might just all be personal preference, depending on which one you’re able to read easier for my case scenario when I’m doing roof inspections. I’Ve found that hot spot suits me well, because you are really looking for the areas that are showing the hottest temperature. This is usually where the underlying water damage is located for firefighting operations. You might want to use hot metal as I’ve seen depicted on DJ’s web site. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to use this drone at a fire scene.
Cold spot has actually personally been helpful for me when inspecting cranberry bogs, it shows clients the cold spots and overall climactic condition of their water to ensure their crops grow properly. All right, so the isotherm levels, like the high in the low temperatures, are very important when you’re capturing thermal photos and the color palettes are also pretty beneficial to know when you’re gonna be shooting these thermal images. So now I want to talk about actually reading the thermal images and you do a lot of reading on the images as you’re shooting them. So it’s worth just documenting what you’re, seeing and then getting back and save writing up a report for a certain client or again just reading them on the fly. So here’s the thing about reading thermal photos.
You usually use an application like FLIR tools to do some post-processing post analyzation of the photos, but here’s the thing when you open up these thermal photos inside of FLIR tools it to show you any information about those photos, except for where they were taken now. The reason that this is so detrimental to a drone like the Mavic to enterprise duel is let’s say you go out. You do a thermal roof inspection. You get back, you dump all the photos onto your hard drive. You’Re not gonna be able to extract any data any thermal or heat data from those images.
So, unless you’re gonna be writing down the different levels on a piece of paper or whether you’re gonna be kind of documenting, the thermal photos, you’re taking as you’re shooting them, there’s gonna be no way to tell what the different temperatures were. So what I do to kind of combat this is, as I’m shooting the photos. I kind of document. What the high and the low temperature is through. My manually set isotherm settings and then I go and just take screenshots of every single time.
I shoot a photo. So if I shoot a photo of a whole entire roof – and I notice that there are some hot areas – I’ll take temperature readings from those areas by simply just taking a screenshot and from there I’ve got to sift through some time, hundreds of screenshots. But that’s the way I’ve been able to kind of go around not being able to extract any data from these images now the reason I think that DJI did. It include this feature. The feature to extract data from these images with the magnitude Enterprise dual is to attract people over to their larger, more expensive system, which is the n2 10 holding these end-use xt 2 camera.
It makes sense that they’re gonna give this vital feature to a larger system again to attract people that way, but it kind of sucks, because unless we have that feature, we’re not gonna be able to read these thermal images properly. So if you’re going to be using this drone, the Mavic 2 Enterprise, dual I’d, recommend taking screenshots or documenting the different temperatures for the different photos that you take, because otherwise you’re gonna be looking at a blank photo with a lot of different thermal hotspots. And thermal cold spots on there and you might not know exactly what you’re looking at, if you say, take the photos and a week later, you’re trying to look over them so guys that about wraps up this video, it does kind of suck that FLIR tools doesn’t Work with the Mavic to enterprise dual, but it is still a great drone. It’S got a lot of great use case scenarios. I’Ve been flying it for about a month now, and I’ve got a lot of videos in the pipeline in the works for the next couple of weeks.
So make sure you subscribe stay tuned for that and also, let me know in the comments what you want to see from this drone. I can possibly put something together last I’m about to send it back to DJI. If you guys have any sort of, I guess, need for information, but guys whooping through the video and as always, [ Music, ], [ Applause, ]