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DJI + thermal imaging == a new landmark for drones

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It doesn’t just stop at aerial photography anymore when it comes to drone hobbies and usefulness. Now DJI has partnered with FLIR–the world’s largest company dealing with thermal imagery–to add thermal cameras to their quadcopters to help rescue teams of all sorts accomplish their jobs more effectively.

The Zenmuse XT is a special edition of DJI’s award winning gimbals that features a thermal camera and is designed to be paired with either the Inspire 1 (review) or the Matrice 100 quadcopter models.

Obviously you don’t have to be a member of search and rescue to get your hands on one of these, but there aren’t a lot of uses outside of that. These models are targeted for rescue, military and other industrial departments and offer a new look into their territory (or at least a more cost effective one).

The image quality doesn’t compare with today’s 1080p and 4K solutions as thermal imagery is a completely different ball game since the camera is doing much more than just displaying an image, but it provides just the right resolution to accomplish what it was designed for. Models include resolutions of 640 × 512 at 30 fps or 336 × 256 or 60 fps.

Specifications: 

The Zenmuse XT can be controlled completely through the DJI GO app, providing a real-time, low latency view of what the camera sees, and instant access to core camera functions including:

  • Spot metering, temperature measurement at the mid-point
  • Digital zoom
  • Single or interval shooting modes
  • Photo, video preview and download
  • Take photos while recording video
  • Various camera settings and parameters including:
    • – Palette, also referred to as Look-up Table (LUT)
    • – Scene, also referred to as Automatic Gain Correction (AGC)
    • – Region of Interest (ROI)
    • – Isotherm mode

GENERAL

Model Zenmuse XT
Dimensions 103 mm x 74 mm x 102 mm
Weight 270 g

CAMERA

Thermal Imager Uncooled VOx Microbolometer
FPA/Digital Video Display Formats 640 × 512 , 336 × 256
Analog Video Display Formats 720 × 480 (NTSC); 720 × 576 (PAL)
Pixel Pitch 17 ?m
Spectral Band 7.5 – 13.5 ?m
Full Frame Rates
640 × 512?

30 Hz (NTSC)   25 Hz (PAL)

 

336 × 256?

30/60 Hz (NTSC)   25/50 Hz (PAL)

Exportable Frame Rates 7.5 Hz NTSC; 8.3 Hz PAL
Sensitivity (NEdT) <50 mK at f/1.0
Scene Range (High Gain)
640 × 512?

-13° to 275°F (-25° to 135°C)

 

336 × 256?

-13° to 212°F (-25° to 100°C)

Scene Range (Low Gain) -40° to 1022°F (-40° to 550°C)
Spot Meter Temperatures measured in central 4×4
File Storage Micro SD Card
Photo Format JPEG, TIFF
Video Format MP4

LENS MODELS

6.8 mm, 17? 336×256 f/1.4; FoV: 49.1°x37.4°; iFoV: 2.519 mr
7.5 mm, 17? 640×512 f/1.4; FoV: 90° x 69°; iFoV: 2.267 mr
9 mm, 17? 640×512 f/1.4; FoV: 69° x 56°; iFoV: 1.889 mr
9 mm, 17? 336×256 f/1.25; FoV: 35° x 27°; iFoV: 1.889 mr
13 mm, 17? 640×512 f/1.25; FoV: 45° x 37°; iFoV: 1.308 mr
13 mm, 17? 336×256 f/1.25; FoV: 25° x 19°; iFoV: 1.308 mr
19 mm, 17? 640×512 f/1.25; FoV: 32° x 26°; iFoV: 0.895 mr
19 mm, 17? 336×256 f/1.25; FoV: 17° x 13°; iFoV: 0.895 mr
Min Focus Distance   6.8 mm: 2.3 cm;   7.5 mm: 2.5 cm;   9 mm: 3.2 cm;
13 mm: 7.6 cm;   19 mm: 15.3 cm
Hyperfocal Distance   6.8 mm: 1.2 m;   7.5 mm: 1.2 m;   9 mm: 2.1 m;   13 mm: 4.4 m;   19 mm: 9.5 m
Hyperfocal Depth of Field   6.8 mm: 0.6 m;   7.5 mm: 0.6 m;   9 mm: 1.1 m;   13 mm: 2.2 m;   19 mm: 4.8 m

GIMBAL

Angular Vibration Range ±0.03°
Mount Detachable
Controllable Range Tilt?-35° to +135°; Pan?±320°; Roll?±30°
Mechanical Range Tilt?-45° to +135° Pan?±320° Roll?±45°
Max Controllable Speed 120°/s

IMAGE PROCESSING & DISPLAY CONTROLS

NTSC/PAL (field switchable) yes
Image Optimization yes
Digital Detail Enhancement yes
Polarity Control (black hot/white hot) yes
Color & Monochrome Palettes (LUTs) yes
Digital Zoom
640 × 512?

2x, 4x, 8x

 

336 × 256?

2x, 4x

ENVIRONMENTAL

Operating Temperature Range 14° to 104°F (-10° to 40 ?)
Non-Operating Temperature Range -22° to 158°F (-30° to 70 ?)
Temperature Shock 41°F/ min (5 ?/min)
Humidity 5% to 95%
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About Author

Tracy

Tracy comes with a background in computer science and engineering. She has a vast knowledge of consumer electronics, an avid RC/drone hobbyist and has been benchmarking both electronics and applications since 16 years of age. She has authored 3 personal blogs since 1999 and written for ProAudio magazine. The best way to win her heart, is a box of german truffles.

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