Tag Archive for: Thermal

Event 38 Announces New EO/IR Payload for E400 VTOL Drone

Event 38 Unmanned Systems, a leading manufacturer of American-made mapping drones, announces that the E400, Event 38’s latest fixed-wing mapping drone, is now available with a gimballed EO/IR camera from NextVision.

NextVision makes field-proven, stabilized cameras and accessories for a variety of commercial and industrial applications. Their gimballed EO/IR cameras capture high-quality visual and thermal imagery and video that can be streamed directly to a ground station.

Combining an EO/IR camera with the E400 platform creates a powerful tool for search-and-rescue, emergency management, and disaster response scenarios, including swift water rescue. The E400 is a military-grade drone with a carbon fiber frame, rather than foam, and is durable enough for rugged field applications. Additionally, the E400 has very long endurance and doesn’t require frequent intermissions for charging. As a result, the E400 can cover much more acreage in a single flight than a multirotor drone, which is vital when time is of the essence.

This new integration is also ideal for surveillance and security applications. The E400 is fully electric and very quiet, so it can fly much lower than other drones without detection.

“At Event 38, we’re always looking for ways to make drone technology accessible to industries and sectors that can really benefit from it, which is why we’re so thrilled to be integrating NextVision cameras with the E400,” said Jeff Taylor, founder & CEO of Event 38. “The E400 is extremely user-friendly; you don’t need a background in aeronautics to use it. This means that any public safety team—whether that’s the police, the sheriff, border control, search and rescue, emergency management, or disaster response—can add aerial surveillance to their capabilities without having to hire an additional operator.”

Event 38 recently demoed the E400 with an EO/IR camera at an Indiana Public Safety Drone Training event, with great success.

FLIR Vue Pro Radiometric Sample Data Now Available

Thermal imagery, with its lower resolution and contrast, can be particularly challenging to collect at high quality and even more challenging to stitch into an orthomosaic. With a radiometric sensor, it usually makes sense to perform the actual image analysis individually for each image. For visualization purposes though, creating an orthomosaic does help provide a better big picture view. With the FLIR Vue Pro line of cameras, images are automatically geotagged in flight when purchased or otherwise integrated with an Event 38 aircraft. The operator must then collect data at an appropriate altitude and time of day depending on the application, and collect imagery with enough overlap to be stitched. Here we have a scene with mixed vegetation, pavement, buildings and cars, making stitching relatively easy. Still, we planned for 70% overlap and sidelap to be safe. Higher overlaps may be needed in areas with less distinct features. We also recommend planning to leave at least 2.5 seconds between image captures and to use a class 10 SD card. FLIR cameras can sometimes get behind while trying to save imagery to memory, and then subsequently start missing images. This can be particularly tricky with FLIR cameras because they can usually handle the higher trigger rate for dozens to hundreds of images before falling behind and then missing every other shot for the rest of the mission. Remember to keep winds in mind if you must plan to fly any down-wind segments. If possible, fly crosswind and advance flight lines into the wind so the apparent groundspeed is always less than standard cruise speed.

If you’d like to download the full set of images, you can get access here. This is radiometric data, so be sure to also download a trial of FLIR Tools to get started analyzing in depth. See the annotations below for some interesting features to inspect.

1. Human standing at corner of pavement as seen from FLIR Vue Pro R 640, 9mm from 140m AGL
2. Bare metal roof reflects low temperature of sky
3. Section of grass field damaged by persistent standing water