In a webinar held earlier this month, thermal imaging leader FLIR introduced the details of the DuoPro R, scheduled to ship late this month. The new product was announced at this year’s InterDrone conference – it’s a premium professional tool designed specifically for drone use.
“The ultimate drone thermal imaging solution is here,” says FLIR, and if the language seems a little over the top it may be because this is a seriously powerful payload – but is available for use on any drone that can handle the weight of the tool.
“The new FLIR Duo Pro R combines a high resolution, radiometric thermal imager, 4K color camera, and a full suite of on-board sensors to bring you the most powerful dual-sensor imaging solution in the world for small commercial drones,” says FLIR, and webinar presenter Randall Warnas emphasizes that the Duo Pro R was developed for power.
The Duo Pro R is sold with an option for a 336 or 640 resolution camera, depending upon the use case. Resolution matters – and while in many instances a 336 resolution camera is adequate, for some applications the precision of the 640 camera may be critical. In a series of examples, the webinar demonstrates that what you can see with the higher resolution camera is incredibly detailed – allowing for clear identification of a figure from 75 feet away; and the uses in search and rescue, law enforcement and security become obvious.
That “full suite” of onboard sensors includes Inertial Measurement (IMU) and GPS systems within the camera, as well as temperature and humidity sensors. The full package makes for an ideal self-contained georeferencing solution, but Warnas points out that there are other potential applications for the product. While inspections, solar panel work, precision agriculture, public safety, border patrol and search and rescue are obvious verticals, as enterprise adoption of drone technology expands so will the use cases for this tool.
MSX blended imagery is FLIR’s proprietary patented FLIR technology, that takes the edges of the RGB image and overlays them within the thermal image. In real world terms, this means that details like lettering, numbers or facial features become recognizable. The familiar blurred colors of a thermographic image suddenly become identifiable – and that means that the tool can be used for critical security applications like recognizing license plate or serial numbers.
“When people get this in their hands and are able to do this with high resolution, it will be really interesting to see how they use this technology,” says Warnas.