There are thermal cameras. There are zoom cameras. And now, there’s a camera drone payload for thermal zoom.
Thermal camera maker FLIR this week announced the FLIR Vue TZ20, a high resolution, dual thermal sensor gimbal.
It’s designed to easily integrate — or plug-and-play, as they say — with DJI’s Matrice 200 and Matrice 300 series drones. And it can do everything from stream thermal video to record video to still-image capture with 20-times zoom.
The FLIR Vue TZ20 consists of both a narrow-field-of-view and a wide-field-of-view 640×512 resolution FLIR Boson thermal camera module. The wide-angle Boson has a 95-degree field of view, and the narrow-angle Boson has a 19-degree field of view.
And with the dual camera drone payload comes a 20x digital thermal zoom capability, which its makers say provides greater situational awareness, especially useful when it comes to public safety and industrial or critical infrastructure inspection missions.
The FLIR Vue TZ20 marks FLIR’s first dual thermal gimbal payload for the DJI Matrice 200 Series and Matrice 300 drone airframes. It weighs in at 1.4 pounds. The Vue TZ20 integrates with DJI’s Payload Software Development Kit and Skyport 2.0 platform for a more simple, plug-and-play operation through the DJI Pilot Software.
Dual camera payloads have been popular especially with enterprise drones for use cases such as showing a traditional live view paired with a thermal view as found in the Zenmuse XT2 thermal imaging camera — or in this case, showing the same scene from two different fields of view.
Earlier this summer, FLIR made its dual sensor module called Hadron available to the general public. The module, which was originally designed by FLIR in close partnership with two American drone companies — Vantage Robotics and Teal Drones — for the military, places a 12-megapixel visible camera (that’s your standard camera), plus a FLIR Boson 320×240 resolution thermal camera, side-by-side.