Low Cost Thermal Imaging System

Low Cost Thermal Imaging System

Low Cost Thermal Imaging System

ACIS is currently developing a lightweight low cost thermal imaging system for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). Applications for thermal cameras onboard UAVs include Search & Rescue and forest fire monitoring.  Our system uses a FLIR Lepton sensor chip, a longwave infrared imaging chip that is ten times less expensive than traditional thermal cameras. The sensor is combined with an embedded computer to control camera parameters. The system can be digitally triggered from any autopilot (i.e. ArduPilot or Pixhawk), allowing it to capture georeferenced images for use in photogrammetry software. System cost is <$400.

System specifications:

  • Imaging resolution: 80×60 pixels
  • Thermal sensitivity <50 mK
  • Wavelength: LWIR (8 to 14 μm)
  • Power requirements: 5VDC
  • Trigger from APM autopilot: built in step-down from 5VDC to 3.3VDC
  • Trigger from Pixhawk autopilot: 3.3VDC