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Thermal Effectiveness??

401 Feet

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Was on a zoom webinar covering drones and fit for public teams. One of the presenters made the comment that a drone equipped with a thermal camera was basically non effective in search and rescue during the months of May-Sept due to heat signatures matching the ground nearby due to similar temps of people and the ground, plus due to foliage.
I can understand the foliage issue as once it's think there is no thermal through that thick cover.
The part I was finding hard to believe was the comment that the thermal doesn't work between x month and x month.
Was wondering what was people's feeling on this?? Who flies where it's summer and hot alot?? How is the enterpeise or autel with a 640 working in hot areas?? Thanks in advance of purchase!!
 
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MapMaker53

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I recently watched a webinar where this was touched upon. During the hottest months, thermal search & rescue is generally more useful when performed very early in the day (before sunrise) when the landscape hasn't had a chance to heat up yet. Now that night flying is permitted upon passing the latest 107 exam/recurrent, I would imagine thermal S&R imaging in hot climates would be best performed at night, providing a lot more flight hours. I think that May-Sept comment was simply a generalized opinion without detail - but those with thermal imaging experience should chime in.
 
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TreeLineView

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Was on a zoom webinar covering drones and fit for public teams. One of the presenters made the comment that a drone equipped with a thermal camera was basically non effective in search and rescue during the months of May-Sept due to heat signatures matching the ground nearby due to similar temps of people and the ground, plus due to foliage.
I can understand the foliage issue as once it's think there is no thermal through that thick cover.
The part I was finding hard to believe was the comment that the thermal doesn't work between x month and x month.
Was wondering what was people's feeling on this?? Who flies where it's summer and hot alot?? How is the enterpeise or autel with a 640 working in hot areas?? Thanks in advance of purchase!!
Sound like they are painting with a broad brush. Yes, your target to background delta will be lower during the summer months, but that doesn't mean you don't take out your equipment during those months. What about a water S/R? I fly Thermal in New England year round. Conditions between 7am to 10pm during the summer month, would have a much lower success rate, but 10pm-6am could certainly be in play. Each situation and search environment would be different. I am Flying Matrice with XT2 640, but you should have the same data set from the Auto 640
 
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401 Feet

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Yes... that was my understanding as well. I was tasked with figuring out what set ups would be a best fit. Researching everything I found the webinar and now have to convince the powers that be due to the broad brush that has been used.
 

jaja6009

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What was mentioned above has been my experience also in regards to SAR. A large Delta (Difference in temperature) is your friend in thermography. You could use isotherms and temperature alerts to help in these situations as they may alarm for temps that you might not see. Our Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual at 100' could not really see a person in the water. But the Temperature Alarm set to >85 would alert the pilot to stop, switch to RGB and what do you know a head in the water. Thankfully we have moved up to the Evo 2 Dual now and even in the summer I can spot people pretty well in the water, especially if their head and exposed body are not freshly wet. We are urban so I have no testing in wooded areas.

RMUS has a good video showing how finding a person in the desert ( 90* F ish) in the daytime could have some challenges.
 
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R.Perry

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With SAR operations thermal isn't used during the day but at night. At least that is my understanding.
 

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