Parrot launches professional thermography drone package

By Tom Bryan | April 19, 2019

France-based drone manufacturer Parrot is launching an all-in-one drone-based thermography solution—a package including the drone, sensor and software—outfitting its lightweight Anafi drone platform for commercial use.

In addition to its built-in 4K HDR camera, the Anafi Thermal system integrates a FLIR thermal sensor. With the ability to reveal the invisible in an instant, the FLIR sensor is a benchmark feature in the professional drone sector. According to Parrot, professionals using the new UAS will be able to securely collect previously inaccessible data, bringing new efficiencies and productivity to civil, commercial, industrial and environmental projects.  

The system will allow professionals to view live thermal and RGB images of surfaces, structures or at-risk areas as the drone flies over or under them. The drone’s imaging capabilities will enable professionals to take immediate action or analyze recorded photos and videos in high detail.

Hitting the market in May, the quadcopter’s flight time is listed at 78 minutes—depending on flight modes and conditions—and boasts a top speed of 55 km/h. With the ability to withstand wind speeds of up to 50 km/h, Anafi Thermal remains operational even in complex conditions and environments. Equipped with a USB-C port for recharging, Anafi Thermal's batteries can be recharged from any source, including computers, power banks and 12V vehicle systems.

Anafi Thermal's gimbal has two embedded miniaturized cameras (thermal and RGB 4K), stabilized on three axes for sharp videos and clear pictures in any flight conditions, according to Parrot. A FLIR radiometric thermal-imaging camera with a 160x120 resolution and a temperature range of 14°F to 752°F “reveals the invisible” and provides live temperature readings. Directly from the Parrot FreeFlight 6 app, the pilot can instantly identify areas of heat loss in hot and cold spots and isolate subjects. The drone’s high-definition camera, with a 21-megapixel Sony sensor, allows for detailed visual inspection of surfaces and buildings. It provides high-resolution images and videos to help inspect the state of a structure or capture precise images of a search area, among other applications.

According to Parrot, the drone’s thermal capabilities can be extended even further with the Pix4DModel app. With this software, captured data is used to build a 3D image of buildings and scenes, enabling professionals to perform 3D inspections and measure dimensions after the flight. Images of the visible and the invisible can be merged directly within the FreeFlight 6 app. Each element of the environment appears in high precision, with visual representations of thermal leaks and temperature differences superimposed on the image. Anafi Thermal's gimbal is a unique feature for a drone of this category, with the ability to tilt vertically 90 degrees upward or downward. This gives professionals ground-breaking capabilities to inspect beneath structures in zenith view or roofs and flat surfaces in nadir view. Thanks to the 3X digital zoom, the pilot can examine hard-to-reach elements and the details of a scene in 4K or with thermal imaging without taking any risks.

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