Can’t take the heat! Thermal Drone Surveys…what, why and how

Updated: Apr 2, 2019

You may be aware of thermal cameras; some of you may even have seen or used one. The last ten years have seen huge advancements in what can be done with cameras, and the field of thermal imaging is not different. But for the purposes of this blog, we will be focusing on their uses when paired with drones.

What is a thermal camera?

Well If you didn’t know, a thermal camera is, it is a camera which rather than displaying a standard image, makes differing wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum available, in this case infrared. These cameras are able to use this detected energy to represent the temperature of any given object with a high degree of accuracy. This level of accuracy depends upon the camera. Being in possession of this information can be of huge benefit in many different industries.

Here are just a few to give you a taster:

Farming & Agriculture

Platforms such as drone deploy are fantastic, and can reveal huge amounts of information to the agriculture and farming industries, but using a thermography camera can take that even further. By using a thermographic camera you can translate the detected information to tell you the ripeness of your crop, irrigation level, crop yield and if your crops have any diseases. Once you have this information you can target specific areas of concern with, say, pest control or insecticide. You don’t need to treat parts of the field that don’t need it. You save time, money and pick up on any problems before they might even happen!

Search & Rescue

We have all seen the TV programmes where criminals are tracked, found and arrested using their thermal signature. Well, the same technology can be used to find people who are in trouble, lost or injured. And because a drone flies much lower than a helicopter a far higher degree of information can be detected. A police drone not far from where I live recently saved a man. He had fallen in a ditch after having too much to drink, and leaving his car by the side of the road. If the police had not had access to this fantastic tech, he would probably have died.

Real Estate

Drones are not new in the world of real estate, they have been around for a while now, producing fantastic imaging of properties for marketing purposes. However a thermographic camera can show how efficient a properties insulation really is, adding more ammunition to the estate agents cause


  • Solar panel inspection : Solar technology is very easily damaged. By regular infrared inspection stakeholders can determine which specific cells are faulty and overheating. These can then be replaced or dealt with to avoid inefficiency.

  • Power line inspection : Existing methods of power line inspection can be very expensive. A drone equipped with a thermal camera can quickly, safely and easily spot problems with infrastructure in a fraction of the time taken for traditional methods.

  • Roof inspection. Drones equipped with cameras are fantastic at going where humans cannot safely go. They can quickly and easily spot any obvious defects in a roof. A thermal camera can take this even further. Allowing small defects to be mapped, noted and dealt with. And far more cost effective than traditional methods.

These are just a few ways in which thermal drone surveys can benefit your business. If you think that you could use this level of information then as always, feel free to call us for a chat!

Thermal Image Of Town

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