AERIAL THERMAL IMAGING
Aerial thermal imaging in Houston is becoming increasingly necessary to capture home and building moisture infiltration caused by wind-driven rain and flooding.
It’s also being used by more public safety agencies like police and fire departments to help with find people (search and rescue missions), better fight fires, reduce poaching, reconstruct accidents, stop the trafficking of drugs and people, assess damages from floods and other disasters and assist in SWAT/high-risk/hazardous materials situations.
That’s where we come in. Read on to learn more about the advantages of aerial thermal imaging and how we can help.
Especially when done in conjunction with thermal imaging on the ground – around and inside the exterior of a home or building – aerial thermal images can capture hidden moisture like pooling and leaks the naked eye just can’t.
Especially when you’ve got the latest and greatest thermal imaging equipment and drone gear on the market. We use a DJI Matrice 210 drone capable of carrying a thermal imaging camera and standard vision camera at once. That way, you don’t have to have us make one flight to ID an anomaly via thermal camera and then another flight to confirm it with a standard vision camera.
Sure, our human vision allows us to see damage like brown water stains and peeling crown molding. But thermal cameras – whether used on the ground or attached to a drone, capture the hidden, interior damage you can’t see – as well as health-threatening mold.
That’s because thermal cameras capture images that are color-coded by temperate. And since collecting water is cooler than the environment around it (mainly because of the cooling effect of evaporation) it will show up as a different color than the environment around it. And even if the moisture is inside a structure like a wall, floor or ceiling, the surface being photographed or videoed will still appear cooler.
That’s why we offer aerial and ground home and building moisture detection services, in conjuction with local design-build firm Homescapes of Houston. We use only FLIR thermal cameras – the world’s best – to make damage estimation and reporting trouble-free, with comprehensive, accurate measurements, analysis and information.
This speed and accuracy – as well as the ability to generate reports – is important for several end users:
- Insurance companies, which need information fast to start claims work
- Renovation contractors, so they can thoroughly and accurately understand the scope of the restoration work
- Building and home inspectors, which need to provide accurate information to potential home buyers
- DIY homeowners and building managers, so they can more fully understand the scope of the damage and submit it to an insurance company or contractor as soon as possible to start the claims process or do their own repairs as soon as possible.
Advanced features on FLIR infrared cameras help us quickly scan large areas to assess what is restorable. They also help us pinpoint water intrusion, find moisture beneath the surface, and document dryness with accuracy and confidence. We can also speed up surveys with the automated humidity alarms. And reporting is so simple and easy to share, since a FLIR camera includes software that supports templates, spell-check, and easy conversion of reports and images to PDF format for trouble-free emailing.
Drone Aerial Thermal Imaging For Public Safety
More and more fire and police departments are realizing the need for drones when it comes to public safety. However, cost and lack of training are just two of the roadblocks preventing most of them from having an in-house drone program.
Flying drones also requires training, practice and getting the proper FAA licensing. Airspace waivers are also required to fly in restricted airspace like local airports, and those waivers take time to get. Also, drone equipment – especially for thermal photography and imagine – is expensive.
Not only do you need a variety of lenses and accessories (different camera lenses, batteries, propellers, SD cards, etc.), but this equipment needs constant updating, as the technology continually evolves, or replacing if the lack of training/practice causes your drone to crash.
If that’s not enough, you also need to be insured for at least $1 million in liability insurance to fly a drone. And if you’re a firefighter, policeman or other public safety official, your particular skills are needed more to do your job saving lives and protecting the public than they are for flying a drone.
Drones for Firefighting
Out of 30,000 fire departments in the U.S., for instance, only 1,000 of them are using drones,
Aerial video – especially drone thermal imaging – provides the chance to bring in outside expertise, in the case where video can be live-streamed over the web so experts can weigh in on the best possible way to fight the fire.
Aerial video also captures invaluable footage that can be used for training purposes without putting anyone at risk.
Finally, thermal cameras can point out hot spots, so firefighters can know which areas of the fire may be the most dangerous or potentially hazardous to address.
Cost is the major obstacle to an in-house drone program, according to FLIR expert Randall Warnas, with 70 percent of survey respondents saying that’s why their department doesn’t have a drone program.
Drones for Police and Law Enforcement
Out of 18,000 fire departments, nationwide, only 800 are using drones. But most agree that drone technology is invaluable, especially when it comes to search and rescue missions.
“White-hot” and “black-hot” thermography color palettes have been used for years to find missing persons or track down suspects. But the traditional aircraft used for such missions, like helicopters or small airplanes, have been too cost-prohibitive for most departments.
Lightweight drones have made this service much more affordable. FLIR thermal cameras (used by Professional Drone Services of Texas) have also made the technology more applicable for police work and law enforcement. For example, FLIR cameras now offer what’s called “blended imagery” – the best of what visible light cameras and infrared/thermal cameras can capture – all in one picture. This eliminates the need for multiple trips (one for a thermal image and one for a visible light image), thus reducing the time and money needed to produce helpful images. Such images are needed in cases where visual elements needed for police work (i.e. license plates, signs, patterns on clothing, placards, etc.) don’t necessarily generate distinct thermal properties that can be seen via infrared camera.
FLIR cameras also eliminate the problem of making a target difficult to find with white-hot/black-hot thermal imaging cameras without a temperature difference of at least 30 degrees. That’s because you can set a range of temperatures (i.e. human body temperature) that are highlighted in color, making them stand out on a white-and-black thermal image.
Interested in learning more about our thermal imaging capabilities?
Contact us online for more information, or give us a call: (832) 856-8556