A few months ago I fly a mission with a Tau 2 640 infra red camera. All the info is here.  The first trial prove that the equipment can indeed operate in night condition and we learn how to take off and land in that condition. Unfortunately during the first few flight we did not capture clear video that show the existent of our target, the small size marque monkey. This is mainly due to the inconsistent radio collar signal we received ,so we may have plan the wrong flight path. 

This time, with a more organised planning, sufficient ground survey to confirm the movement of the two monkey that fitted with radio collar, we know where our target was and plan the flight accordingly. With the same set up and same flight altitude, this time we do successfully record them which show up as bright white spot in the video.

Flying at 100 meter, the monkey only show up as a few pixel through the camera sensor. So we are not hoping to see the animal outline through the video. As there are no bigger size animal stay on top of tree at that area, those white spots found around the tree area are pretty much confirm that is the marque monkey. More detail analysis will require to make accurate survey but we have demonstrate that it is viable with our low cost UAV.

I post this video for those who may be interest to use this camera for their research work as a video out put reference. 

Views: 4348

Comment by Gary McCray on September 6, 2014 at 10:24am

Hi Keeyen,

Great accomplishment,

It might help if you could possibly mark suspected monkeys perhaps with arrow or circle.

Seemed like around 4 min 30 seconds and later around 7 minutes.

What it also very much makes clear is that use of IR camera is not as straight forward as a lot of us have previously thought.

Best Regards,


Comment by Graham Dyer on September 6, 2014 at 11:18pm

IR in forest is very difficult, we sometimes can't see elephants under thick canopy, so it's good work finding a marque monkey! A camera that could point at the collar signal could be useful.

1st prize though is full HD IR that doesn't cost the price of a car!

Comment by bwwww on September 6, 2014 at 11:26pm

Thanks or sharing! 

How much do these modules cost? and the 320fps version?

@Graham Dyer, not for decades, not because it could not be done, but because until China is mass producing them, governments (China included) will ban the sale to civilians and the export of them.

Comment by MD on September 7, 2014 at 12:41am
I have the the same camera in the 30hz version (being in the US). I think the thing to look at would be either assessing different lenses but while that would have huge impact on your fov, working on making changes to camera settings dynamically from the ground as the serial commands are well documented to adjust gains, etc. Always great to see someone using these. They are really great cameras.

Comment by Gary Mortimer on September 7, 2014 at 2:32am

Are the collars VHF pinging ones Keeyan and Graham?? Currently working on a better way of locating them without a yagi. Just driving around with a laptop and receiver mapping hotspots it works pretty well only one week into the trial and I need to smarten it up a little. Next step is to shrink it and get it airborne. Then fly the reserve and go back and fly listening out for our UHF data collars in a much more likely area. Its certainly not as easy as all the kickstarter crowd believe. Advocates of RFID tags must be smoking their socks ;-)

Comment by Gary Mortimer on September 7, 2014 at 10:05am

Ha that's sort of exactly what I am doing to get closer to our UHF data collars. Some of those have legacy VHF pingers, the ones that transmit every 20ms and I am using an SDR to record signal strength vs position of the receiver and from there map the result. Then once deciphered I can fly to a more likely spot for the UHF collar and loiter to capture data. As you will well know finding collars in hilly terrain and dense undergrowth can be a mission and can easily waste a day with poor results. I was trying to fit the software onto a Pi but I don't think its upto it really. As I say its week one of playing we have not made tuned antennas or tied anything up electrically on my laptop to make it quieter. On the image below you can see an entire Mhz worth of data. I can pick out the individual collars if I want. My friend hid four and you can see the spots. Dark red more likely to be a collar. The large blob of red at the top is some railway signalling (we think) that we had no idea was there.

All I did to gather this was drive around slowly. The 20ms pulsing is a bit of an issue as the SDR does not always hear the collar (duh) So speed would be bad when collecting data. Early days it was last weeks project but so far we are pleased you are looking at about 3km by 2 there roughly. This might not even be a good idea at the end of things but you never know unless you try. The advantage of being on the ground is of course you could have a really high gain omni and the roof of the car is already taller than a bloke with a beam.

Our newer collars do all sorts of fancy things that will make this sort of thing outdated. We keep getting asked to find other peoples collars that have been lost and as you say the SDR allows to look for lots of brands.

For those that have no idea what we are talking about here's a man with a pipe so he must know.

You need to go a little way into the video to see the gear.

Comment by Dan Murray on September 8, 2014 at 8:36am

Guy, that gimbal looks pretty cool! Do you have any more info on it?

Comment by Graham Dyer on September 8, 2014 at 9:37am

+1 on the gimbal, Guy, looks great, own design?

Comment by Dan Murray on September 8, 2014 at 10:02am

Guy, that is awesome! Any chance of sharing it? I would like to build something similar for a fixed wing. 

Comment by Graham Dyer on September 8, 2014 at 10:07am

Very very nice, and compact too! Funny, we're also using a 320 in an 85mm ball but with only one brushless axis (tilt), the other is a 210° rotation servo, not ideal but really light, our weight is about 210g. Also no concurrent EO but hot swappable with an EO if needed.


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