Thermal imagery

Does anybody have experience in using thermal images from extensive crops, such as corn or soybeans? I am curious if they are of any use.

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  • Thermal imaging responds well to certain applications, such as mammal infestations, rain/drought, chemical analysis, & illegal activity.Actually MWIR is more functional, but no one can afford one outside of the military.

    We found Flir products to be too limiting. We have been using LWIR machine vision cameras with SDK's & LabVIEW. Attached is an image of a model that interfaces with a smartphone, 160x120 pixels.

    We have moved to 400-1700nm imaging using cameras from Raptor Photonics, UTC, Xenics, Sofradir, & L3.

    In the coming months a new InGaAs sensor, 1280x1024 pixels will be out. This new sensor will cover 400-1700nm & run to 100fps.

    Attached is a test image we took with a Raptor Photonics Owl camera with a 640x512 InGaAs sensor and a 400-1700nm lens.




  • 100KM

    I'm hoping to use my Tau2 (also 19mm sadly) for identifying flooded areas. I'm pretty sure the temperature gradient will be much higher vs the background, even with adaptive cooling. Am I wrong?

    • Moderator

      You'll definitely see it. I understand Phil's "snake oil" comment and the last thing I want to do is market any of this imagery as some sort of magic crystal ball, but there is a bit of a problem forming lately with the high value companies completely writing off the DIY approach. What we need is some examples about where specifically the data obtained from sensors that are adapted to this purpose (and not built for it) is unreliable. The Tau2 may have inaccuracies when used for mapping purposes, but as long as that information is relayed and disregarded, they'll have a use.  

      I'm just not a big fan of the recent trend I've seen here from people discrediting all work but their own. It's a lot more palatable when presented in a way that encourages improvement instead of trying to stifle commercial competition. 

    • Totally agree. My intention is to make some trials, and find the value, if any, of aerial images applied to extensive agriculture. 

    • 100KM

      Cool, please don't forget to post!

    • @Hein - Sell your Tau2 and get a Vue Pro in November ;-)

      Just bought the  Vue (not Pro) in Aug 

    • 100KM
      Considered it, but Vue Pro don't have zoom or exchangeable lenses.
  • Yes. Using a uncooled microbolometer camera such as a Flir Tau 2 or DRS core is very dangerous for this line of work according to NASA. There are SEVERAL issues that affect the quality and accuracy of the data, including calibration, atmospheric interference, and the most severe is the presence of any amount of wind that can cause certain areas of the field to suffer from adaptive cooling. Essentially, selling farmers imagery from these cameras is approaching "snake oil".

    Also, it is not possible to create an therma orthomosaic without losing radiometric temp data. 

    The leading person on this matter is:

    Email me for more info: 


    • Have you got any kind of source or context on that comment?

    • What about near infrared cameras, like MAPIR. Forgive my ignorance, but would that be more useful for multispectral ag imaging?

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