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Thermal imaging for drone

FLIR Systems reports a collaboration with drone product company DJI Innovations. The companies plan to develop their first joint product, the DJI Zenmuse XT stabilized camera, pictured, featuring FLIR’s thermal imaging for DJI’s Inspire 1 and Matrice aerial platforms.

Combining DJI’s Zenmuse stabilized micro-gimbal, as used for aerial cinematography, with FLIR’s Tau 2 thermal imaging camera core, the Zenmuse XT is aimed at commercial drone operators and infrastructure inspectors. Using thermal imaging on small drones brings new capabilities to commercial applications, the firms say, including search and rescue, firefighting, agriculture, wildlife protection, and inspection of bridges, and buildings.

Thermal imaging lets users see in complete darkness, measure temperature remotely, and see through smoke, dust, and light fog. Minute temperature variances – normally invisible to the naked eye – can signify potential problems in buildings, detect the presence of people or animals, and monitor the health of mechanical and electrical equipment remotely. The product’s integration with DJI’s Lightbridge live video downlink system and the DJI GO app will also give drone operators real-time control and recording during flight.

Andy Teich, President and CEO of FLIR, said: “FLIR and DJI today support many of the same commercial applications. FLIR is thrilled to work with DJI to deliver these customers a plug-and-play thermal imaging solution for DJI’s established ecosystem of unmanned aircraft and related apps while expanding our collective opportunities in the rapidly-growing commercial drone market.”

DJI’s Inspire 1 and Matrice airframes provide aerial cinematography and development platforms. “DJI’s collaboration with FLIR in thermal imaging signals our intent to innovate in sectors where technology can be a game-changer,” said DJI CEO Frank Wang. “The result will be joint, best-in-class solutions that are intuitive and easy to use.”

The Zenmuse XT will be available in early 2016 at DJI and FLIR dealers; visit


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