We were trying to find ways to secure (or at least patrol) a crime infested green belt in our area when one of the guys mentioned that it would be great to have a thermal camera on a helicopter to be able to spot these guys and perform some sort of aerial support for the guys on the ground.
Now, being involved in helis for the last 10 years, and also tinkering with APM (planes) for the last 2 years I thought it would be very easy to get something like this off the ground, right? Wrong, it has been a long road of trials and tribulation that started with my first Quad - barely able to lift a GoPro, it had about 5 mins flight time and not long enough to offer any meaningful level of aerial support. Finally I arrived (after 3 costly iterations) at the current Hexa that manages about 15 mins in the air (10000 MAH 3S Setup).
It was also challenging to find a thermal camera. I hit a bit of luck here, as someone in the community had a auto scrap shop - and just happened to have a totaled BMW 750 IL, and this BMW just happened to have a FLIR PathfindIR in it's front bumper. It was only the 8hz version, but I still taped it to my hexa with some duct tape, connected it to my FPV stuff lying around and the video below is the result! The last bit is the best, some guys jump out of a bush and start walking away just as the ground support vehicle moves in (just before the switch to RTL).
Next steps will include a bigger Hexa, I'm aiming for 30 min flight time on 15" props and a 370kv 6S setup. Oh, and did I mention a brushless gimbal, the video can do with some stabilization.
I would like to thank you all on this forum for helping me through this journey - the APM rocks, and I'll stick with this platform forever!!!