Unmanned drones equipped with thermal imaging cameras could save dolphins, according to a new scientific study out of NZ and the UK. According to the study, the endangered Maui and Hector's dolphins in New Zealand and other marine mammal species around the world could be saved from caught up accidentally when fishing for other species. The successful study proved aerial thermal detection and identification of Maui and Hector's dolphins, and other marine mammals would be possible from both manned and unmanned aircraft and could be used on drones. Martin Stanley from Ocean Life Survey, who led the study, has designed and developed an unmanned remotely operated thermal imaging drone system that can be used for marine mammal study and protection. The thermal drone system can be operated from vessels such as fishing boats to provide real-time detection of and protection to marine mammals.
Thermal Imaging sensors are commonly referred to terminology such as thermal camera, temperature camera, heat vision camera, infrared camera, thermal imaging sensor, heat signature camera, and even thermal heat vision sensor. In this post we will refer to this type of imaging as infrared or thermal imaging. Infrared energy is generated by the vibration of atoms and molecules. The higher the temperature of an object, the faster its molecules and atoms move. This movement is emitted as infrared radiation which our eyes cannot see but our skin can feel. Thermal imaging is the use of a special infrared camera sensors to illuminate a spectrum of light invisible to the naked eye.
Drone company DJI is expanding its efforts in the commercial sector with a new thermal imaging camera and a payload software development kit (SDK) that will allow startups and developers to integrate custom gear onto DJI drones. The Zenmuse XT2 thermal imaging camera, developed as part of an ongoing partnership with FLIR Systems, builds upon the original Zenmuse XT which was released in 2015. Side-by-side visual and thermal imaging sensors have been designed with emergency services and disaster recovery in mind, allowing operators to capture heat signatures otherwise invisible to the naked eye. QuickTrack mode centers the camera on a selected area, while HeatTrack automatically detects the hottest object in view. The on-board Temp Alarm interprets thermal data in real-time, alerting drone operators if an object exceeds critical thresholds.
Farmers are using high-tech thermal imaging on their phones to help them locate lost lambs at night. On average 15 per cent of lambs on British farms are lost due to predators or health complications after being separated from their mothers. For many farmers, reducing these losses has been a massive challenge. Now thermal imaging technology on a smartphone can help them locate lost and vulnerable members of the flock - even if it's in the dead of night. Farmers are using high-tech thermal imaging on their phones to help them locate lost lambs at night (pictured).