Flir Tau and other IR cameras

Hey everyone, new to the forum. I am a ME/AE at the University of Florida doing a project on building a UAV for wildfire surveillance.We need an infrared camera and the only options that I have found so far is the Flir Tau series. The max resolution for the Flir Tau is 320x240. We are looking for a camera with a resolution of 640x480. The only camera from Flir is the Photon 640, which is about 2.5 times the weight, and 8x the volume.I was wondering if anyone knows of any other IR cameras with similar weight and volume similar to the Flir Tau? (~100 grams, 1.2"x1.2"x1.4")Thanks all. Great forum BTW, very helpful for my project.

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  • I have 38x38mm extension board  for Tamarisk320 (mounted on camera), it includes  :

    - USB interface supports 60Hz frame rate and programming interface,

    - 3 button  keyboard port . with 4th button  power switch ( extensive  menu control)

    - color OLED micro display  port ( with a menu to select different camera parameters - i.e. Colorization with multiple LUT , cross hair , etc)

    - Li-ion battery port,   charging battery through USB port

    - total power 0.9 W

    Next version of the same board will include JPEG  video compression with motion detection and  recording to SD card.

    Can build board  per order.

  • Just became aware of this company who invited me to a sales meeting last week. IRCameras Their Tamarisk line accepts various focal length lenses, on par with the Tau in terms of resolution and performance. 

    • has a back end board that makes the cameras USB and allows it to be calibrated. Like the Flir Tau 2 the Tamerisk by DRS is analog or Camera Link. Camera link is useless for digital information on a Drone. Our USB Board for the Tau 2 or the DRS Tamerisk allows the cameras to become Digital for doing true Aerial Thermography from a UAV. This allows customers to do Complete, Fully Radiometric mosaics.

  • Moderator

    @Gary - This video contains some sample Thermal Images from the SEEK Camera.

  • Moderator

    If anyone is interested, I managed to get the SEEK THERMAL camera to stream via WiFi using a Raspberry Pi 2.  I'm next going to try to see if I can connect an analog video transmitter to it for IR FPV.  (The Pi has an AV out on it). 

    This would be the only sub $500 solution for IR FPV that I have seen.  On the Pi it can also record to an SD card.  

    I'm scaling the 204x156 image up to 640x480

    • Should be interesting... multiple seeks would also be cool!

      • The issue is with the Seek is the optic, noise, and NETD. We do 16 X enhancement on our 640 and have for years "4.91 Mega Pixels out of a 307,200 pixel sensor". We do the same with our "New" 2.3 Mega Pixel VOx Camera, we are working on 16 X for this one as well. We also have a digital USB adaptor Board " International Patent Pending" (back end) for the Tau 2, now. In order to do very accurate radiometry you need to have a thermal sensor on the lens, camera, FPA, camera body, etc. You also must have the algorithms to compensate for Distance, Relative Humidity, Ambient Temperature, Background Radiation, Convective Cooling, Emissivity, etc. otherwise you are just putting out numbers that are meaningless. What good is a thermometer if the data it gives you is not accurate? Can you change Level and Span manually from you flight controller or are you relegated to AGC? Don't get me wrong I like the Seek and Flir One products but you get what you pay for and it depends on if you are looking for blobs at a distance or trying to perform "real" inspections. I can't wait to see what kind of performance you get on a person at 400' so please post some images when you are done.

        • My whole point in using a 'seek/s' is price.... so I really don't care about accuracy so to speak, the main thing I need is differential measurement so you can identify 'blobs' versus 'non-blobs'. I also have several Flir products and they work great but I am not willing to risk them(yet) in my UAV's

          • Moderator

            We're still tinkering with the camera and Raspberry Pi but have not flown it yet.  I can post some video soon.  The image quality isn't great at ranges of more than 200', but it is readable.  I am working with the Seek Thermal camera right now, but will be trying the Seek Thermal XR soon, which has a lens better suited to the job.

            It will not produce anywhere near the image quality that the Tau camera offer's, but the whole system is less than 1/8 th the price.  


            • Post some images once you fly it. We have not flown one yet and we integrate multispectral cameras on UAV's of all kinds every days. We spend several $ Hundred Thousand and more than a year doing a slick back end for the Flir Tau and other products as well as the DRS Tamerisk. We have all of the Seek cameras. I attached am image take of me with the Seek HDR. I also downloaded a motor image taken with our ICI 9320 from 30 feet away.



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