Thermal imaging use as a diagnostic tool in the agricultural industry has grown in the last five years. The reason for the growth in using thermal cameras for
diagnosing animal health problems is because it is quick, non-contact and non-invasive to the animal. This can be particularly useful when you are dealing with large animals such as cattle as
they won’t hear or notice the thermal camera taking thermal images so no further stress is directed onto the animal.
Thermal cameras are becoming
popular particularly with the dairy industry, a thermal imaging exam of a cow can show up health issues that are not visible to the naked eye. This can include Arthritis, hoof abscesses, soft
tissue damage, tendon damage, white line and much more. Thermal cameras can be used on a regular basis to assist with making the correct diagnosis when treat cows with problem feet, you will have
the confidence to trim a little deeper if necessary to find problems not seen by the naked eye.
A thermal imaging drone/UAV can be used in several different applications. There are three main application sectors that will benefit from the use of a thermal
imaging survey carried out by a drone or a UAV.
A thermal imaging drone will give the farmer a birds-eye view of their crops and land. Irrigation management benefits from the use of a thermal imaging as they provide a insight into areas that
are pooling water or crop areas that are not getting enough water. These issues can alter the successfulness of the crop production and quality. Thermal imaging drones are also useful for
livestock monitoring to check on livestock health, such as if they are injured or missing.
Search & Rescue A drone can cover much more ground quickly than a team of rescue personnel. This can be the difference of life and death for the lost persons depending on the
individual situation. Digital Cameras on drones are very popular and can be used in a search and rescue operations. However, if the person is unconscious or the search is taking place late in the
evenings these drones with digital CCD cameras can have great difficulty in searching for the missing person. A thermal camera on a drone in this situation would be more beneficial in finding the
missing person/s. A thermal camera is a temperature measurement camera that can detect temperatures from -20°C to +150°C. This means the person/s can be detected even in darkness.
The second main application of using a thermal imaging drone/uav is for preventative maintenance in areas of building/construction and power/energy. Traditional
handheld thermal imaging cameras has been used over the last number of decades in maintenance inspections in building and power lines. However, with more high-rise construction being demanded in
cities and the height of pylons it can be very dangerous and costly to carry out maintenance inspections due to hiring out cherrypickers or buying specialist ladders. A UAV/Drone will help to
save on costs and save lives as it can be operated remotely from the ground with the team of thermographer and a drone operator.
PLEASE NOTE: Before
operating a drone, please make sure you have suffcient training in drone operation and check your country regulations for operating drones/UAVs.