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Thermal sensor calibration for unmanned aerial systems using an external heated shutter

Citation

Virtue, J and Turner, D and Williams, G and Zeliadt, S and McCabe, M and Lucieer, A, Thermal sensor calibration for unmanned aerial systems using an external heated shutter, Drones, 5, (4) Article 119. ISSN 2504-446X (2021) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright Statement

Copyright: © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

DOI: doi:10.3390/drones5040119

Abstract

Uncooled thermal infrared sensors are increasingly being deployed on unmanned aerial systems (UAS) for agriculture, forestry, wildlife surveys, and surveillance. The acquisition of thermal data requires accurate and uniform testing of equipment to ensure precise temperature measurements. We modified an uncooled thermal infrared sensor, specifically designed for UAS remote sensing, with a proprietary external heated shutter as a calibration source. The performance of the modified thermal sensor and a standard thermal sensor (i.e., without a heated shutter) was compared under both field and temperature modulated laboratory conditions. During laboratory trials with a blackbody source at 35 °C over a 150 min testing period, the modified and unmodified thermal sensor produced temperature ranges of 34.3–35.6 °C and 33.5–36.4 °C, respectively. A laboratory experiment also included the simulation of flight conditions by introducing airflow over the thermal sensor at a rate of 4 m/s. With the blackbody source held at a constant temperature of 25 °C, the introduction of 2 min air flow resulted in a ’shock cooling’ event in both the modified and unmodified sensors, oscillating between 19–30 °C and -15–65 °C, respectively. Following the initial ‘shock cooling’ event, the modified and unmodified thermal sensor oscillated between 22–27 °C and 5–45 °C, respectively. During field trials conducted over a pine plantation, the modified thermal sensor also outperformed the unmodified sensor in a side-by-side comparison. We found that the use of a mounted heated shutter improved thermal measurements, producing more consistent accurate temperature data for thermal mapping projects.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:thermal mapping, infrared, temperature measurements, FLIR Vue Pro R, thermal capture calibrator, UAV, UAS, drone, RPAS
Research Division:Engineering
Research Group:Geomatic engineering
Research Field:Photogrammetry and remote sensing
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the environmental sciences
UTAS Author:Virtue, J (Mr Jacob Virtue)
UTAS Author:Turner, D (Dr Darren Turner)
UTAS Author:Lucieer, A (Professor Arko Lucieer)
ID Code:148009
Year Published:2021
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (LE180100118)
Deposited By:Geography and Spatial Science
Deposited On:2021-11-30
Last Modified:2021-12-07
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