Visible & Thermal Camera Module with Accurate Image Overlay and Zoom for Small Drones
Airborne unmanned aerial vehicles, aka drones, with thermal imaging capabilities are one of the booming utilities in various professional applications like security surveillance of country borders, criminal prosecution, inspection of industrial plants, forest fire monitoring as well as in agriculture and many others.
However, manufacturers, pilots and operators of thermal imaging drones, are facing several difficulties:
1. The thermal camera video stream often provides too low resolution and field of view for secure navigation AND high level of detail.
2. Additional visible-spectrum cameras can provide higher resolution and field of view, yet with constraints on the weight of the payload, data rates, and costs.
3. Multiple video streams of visible-spectrum and thermal cameras with unaligned optical axes are hard to handle for pilots and generate high efforts in post processing.
The German company TeAx Technology just unveiled its dual camera ThermalCapture Fusion Zoom to overcome these challenges. This lightweight device of just 275 g and 94 x 69 x 51 mm in size comprises a FLIR Tau 2 thermal sensor with a spatial resolution of 640 x 512 pixels, thermal resolution as low as 0.03 K, and a 13-mm fixed focal length lens. It is accompanied by a Tamron MP1010M-VC camera module featuring broadcast quality video in Full HD resolution, optical vibration compensation and 10x zoom. The optical axes of booth cameras are fully aligned and fixed in a rigid carbon composite housing.
The combination of a thermal and a visible-spectrum camera with zoom enables unprecedented features for the drone pilot and operator:
1. Thanks to the 10x optical zoom of the visible-spectrum camera module MP1010M-VC, the pilot can always adapt the field of view for secure navigation, e.g. to recognize obstacles early enough, or for detailed analysis of areas and objects in focus.
2. The Full-HD-resolution camera with zoom renders large, heavy, power-consuming and costly high-resolution cameras and lenses redundant without compromising on the ability to capture objects in detail from the distance. Furthermore, this leads to significantly lower data rates for both, the video stream transmission to the ground station and the storage of files. Consequently, less power is consumed by on-board electronics to compress, process and store the data.
3. The exact alignment of the cameras allows for the accurate overlay of the thermal camera image to the visible-spectrum camera image. Thus, only one live video stream needs to be transmitted to the ground station and the pilot can focus on a single video display. Onboard, the overlaid video images are saved in a single file which dramatically reduces the efforts in post-processing and delivers more meaningful results to the end customer.
Equipped with these leading-edge camera modules, integrated position and time recording, HDMI and PAL video output, also to microSD card, TeAx Technology rightly anticipates a major demand for its ThermalCapture Fusion Zoom from the global drone market as well as further OEMs and integrators who benefit from the combination of visual-spectrum and thermal imaging.
Tamron is proud to contribute to this outstanding innovation for more safety and efficiency in surveillance, industrial, agricultural, forestry and other application areas.
Find out more about our Full-HD-resolution 10x-zoom camera module MP1010M-VC with highly robust vibration compensation, comprehensive control features and broadcast-quality video capturing.
TAMRON Camera Module MP1010M-VC (http://www.tamron.eu/industrial-optics/products/intelligent-compact-module/)
Dual-Camera Module: ThermalCapture Fusion Zoom (http://thermalcapture.com/thermalcapture-fusion-zoom/)
Manufacturer: TeAx Technology (www.thermalcapture.com)
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