Skydio, Teledyne FLIR enhance uncooled thermal camera UAV payload

October 30, 2023  - By
Image: Teledyne Flir

Image: Teledyne Flir

Skydio has released its X10 UAV, which features a customized Teledyne FLIR Boson+ thermal camera module. As a result of the collaboration, professional public safety and critical infrastructure inspection pilots can now easily access uncooled thermal imaging technology.

The Thermal by FLIR program is a cooperative product development and marketing program. It supports original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), such as Skydio, to integrate Teledyne FLIR thermal camera modules into products.

The Skydio X10 includes a thermal imaging payload using a customized radiometric Boson+ thermal camera module, providing thermal performance and improvements in size, weight, and power (SWaP) that are critical for inspections, situational awareness and search-and-rescue missions.

Thermal performance and SWaP enhancements

The Boson+ provides four times the thermal resolution at 640 x 512 pixels versus the predecessor thermal camera on the Skydio X2. It also doubles the thermal sensitivity of competitive payloads at 30 millikelvin (mK) or more.

Its increased sensitivity and resolution provide users with sharper scene detail, which improves detection, specifically in outdoor, low-contrast scenes — a critical need for thermal inspectors and first responders, including law enforcement officers, firefighters and search-and-rescue personnel.

Teledyne FLIR worked closely with Skydio to develop custom optics to reduce the weight of a standard Boson+ camera optics by 48%, according to the company. The weight reduction aims to help maximize flight time while decreasing the volume of the thermal camera module for an improved payload form factor.

The Skydio X10 has customized thermal image signal processing that leverages Teledyne FLIR’s Prism ISP, further improving imaging quality. The resulting thermal imagery is available as radiometric JPEGs (R-JPEG), meaning each image captured includes temperature data of every pixel in the scene for granular, quantitative insights needed for solar panel, machinery and utility inspection.

That R-JPEG data captured from the X10 can then be combined with the R-JPEG data captured from handheld Teledyne FLIR thermal imaging cameras to create comprehensive inspection reports from the air to the ground.

Skydio X10 users can also use FLIR Thermal Studio software with advanced thermal imaging processing and analysis for creating custom, sharable PDF reports.

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