June 11, 2013

Aerial/UAV/Mast Thermography

aerial thermography, thermal image from drone UAV or mast

Aerial thermal imaging from a UAV/drone or a mast is a useful technique for many thermographic surveys.

There are many names for an unmanned aerial vehicle used to carry a thermal imaging camera. Commonly called drones, UAVs, sUAS (small Unmanned Aerial Systems), elevating a thermographic system can be invaluable where the height, size, location or condition of the target means a handheld thermal camera is not a safe or feasible option. There is much hype around this subject at present and we are aware of many instances where poor results have been obtained. This is often due to a fundamental lack of understanding of aerial thermography and building science rather than the fault of the equipment.

Sometimes a mast is a better option than a drone. We can provide a 4×4 vehicle with 24m mast which lifts our thermal cameras 6 or 7 storeys above the ground.  Using wireless remote control we can scan roofs, solar panels, district heating systems or anything else where elevation is required and it is generally safer than other types of access equipment or mobile elevated work platform (MEWP) for the thermographer.

When a drone is the best answer then you need the safest and most experienced pilots and ScanTherm has partnered with the best. Much of building thermography is done at night – so night flying of the drone with the thermal camera is required. Much of our work is in and around London. Obtaining CAA approval for night flying close to buildings in London is not easy to come by – but we can do this.