Near-Infrared Camera Options

Hi Everybody,

I currently have a Canon SX260 with near-infrared capabilities that I attach to my 3DR Y6.  I also use the GoPro camera that it came with. My SX260 keeps getting damaged from dust, and I'm wondering if anyone else has this problem? I fly fields, and when I can, I launch from grass or cement to prevent dirt getting in any of the parts, but in many situations there is nothing available to launch from except a dirt lane.

The obvious fix for me would be to build some sort of launching pad into the back of my truck, which I am working on.

What I am wondering is, since it's looking like I'm going to have to replace my SX260, I'd like to look into other options that may not be so sensitive to environmental factors.  My GoPro has held up really well, and I've heard that I can get a GoPro converted to near-infrared, but I'd still like to have GPS on the camera for stitching purposes.  Also with the GoPro, I get "fish eye" images, so they are rounded and do not stitch together as well either.

So does anyone have any advice on different near-infrared cameras for flying in dusty like conditions? Preferably one that has GPS and that isn't too heavy so that a 3DR Y6 can support it?  I'd also like to find one that can easily be switched to a different UAV, as I will probably upgrade to a different multirotor or even plane style sometime within the next year.

I appreciate any advice!

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  • Try Multispek

    It's VIS-NIR combined camera so you have 2 images at once and since it's based on a modified GoPro with custom optics, it should be dustproof. The only problem is a missing onboard GPS but you can easily substitute this with a Pixhawk cam_trigger log feature.

  • I had the same problem with the Canons. I sell these once in a while as custom builds.

    or try here for IR cameras

  • Sir,

    I amusing a rubber matt also that i roll out for takeoff. I am flying the solo with go pro 4. I did the 5.4 mm mod from peau productions. There was a video of this process on youtube i followed. I still need to fine tune focus but below is an example at 300 ft. There are ndvi options for the go pro but I can not speak to results. I am not flying ndvi yet but plan to in the future. As of now i am focusing on ortho and dem.



    • Just checked out the video on the process, that is definitely worth looking into. It looks by your picture that it really fixed the problem. Thanks this helps a lot! I also looked into peau productions, and I think they offer modifications for ndvi as well

  • Use a tarp and four sand bags. We use sandbags made by a video production company; heavy nylon with strap. A 8x10 tarp will make a huge difference and folds up nicely. I use a 12x10 with a 7lb. Y6 and my cameras stay relatively clean. We also launch from the top of the car. Landing that way is tough. :)
  • A big rubber mat that can be rolled up or separated into parts, about 3m rectangular.

    If you use CHDK, I believe there are also options to have it respond to signals over USB, but not sure if this is part of the uav script now. This is done by manipulating the length of the signal. A short burst < 70ms is for taking a shot, anything longer to shut down the camera and retract the lens. That takes care of the landing bit. Another thing that you can experiment with in CHDK are timing settings, but then you don't have control over the camera in emergency situations (to save it).

    For takeoff, you can also experiment with a temporary cap over the camera on a bit of wire. You can tug it away when it's in the air or fix the other end on the ground. Obviously, if it doesn't let go with the vehicle in the air, that wouldn't be good.

    At ecosynth they fly with a waterprotective case all the time:

    • Thanks for the ideas, I do use CHDK but am pretty inexperienced at doing anything but having it take a picture every 3 seconds. I will look into this some more.

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