Relatively Inexpensive Thermal Imaging Gimbal M1D Micro

   After arriving in Texas, I've talked to several land owners who complain about feral hogs damaging their property.  I had a solution that would incorporate thermal imaging with a sUAS platform to track hog movement and patterns during the day and at night.  While doing research I came across this little baby, the M1D Micro PTZ Gimbal


  I was very surprised at the size, weight, and resolution of this camera.  It uses a FLIR thermal imaging camera that are available in three resolutions, 120x140 being the lowest @ $3900 and 640x480 being the highest at $9500.  I was definitely expecting this to being in the upper teens or low 20's!


It has a very nice CCD camera, Hi-res thermal camera, and focusable laser incorporated in a weatherproof housing.  Being 6" tall, 4.5" in diameter and weighing in around .9 kg, it seems to be a very good solution for a UAS system such as the X8 or similar platform.


The only issue that I have seen along with most PTZ systems in the RS-485 communication.  I'm not a comms expert so I do not know if it is possible to do a P&P setup with the APM 2.5.  I did come across a couple of Xtend 900 RS-485 1W modems that would allow control from a joystick or PTZ control board from the ground.

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Comment by Gary Mortimer on November 22, 2012 at 12:49pm

Have a word to Andrew at Millswood he has done that sort of thing. if he can't he will know who can.

Of course who knows how many years until that would be a legal task in the USA with the indefinite postponement of the FAA test sites. 

Comment by Michael Johnston on November 22, 2012 at 3:37pm
Had a quick look at the web advertisement ... but didn't any see the detail info about Hz rate.

Wondering whether this would be commercially available to non-USA purchasers? If not, then what can suppliers that aren't limited by the USA export restrictions offer ?

The link below shows a nice example of FPV by FLIR.

Comment by james sowell on November 22, 2012 at 5:55pm

thats going on my xmas list

Comment by Chris Card on November 22, 2012 at 6:29pm

RS-485, 422, 232  are just different IEEE electrical specifications for voltages & the way that they are driven...

 Meaning that all you need is a level translator break out board. 

RS-485 signals are more resistant to noise than RS232 or TTL.



Comment by ThomasB on November 22, 2012 at 11:47pm

Some additional comments to RS485
Using RS485 beside RX and TX you need a portpin for tranceive enable. RS232 is a point to point connection, RS485 is thought for multipoint communication.

Comment by Josh Potter on November 23, 2012 at 8:57am

I think the quality is lower, but I thought the size and cost (around $3k) would make it a possible drone camera.

Comment by Hunter Parris on November 23, 2012 at 10:42am

@Josh, I was actually looking at that one too.  For $900 more dollars you can get a CCD, laser, and PTZ zoom in weather proof housing with the M1D.  But the resolution is lower.  Plus the WOW factor of the camera gimbal is worth it!

Comment by Hunter Parris on November 23, 2012 at 10:44am

How would you be able to control RS-485 with RC gear and the Ardupilot?

Comment by Shaun Bell on November 23, 2012 at 1:07pm

I was thinking about using a FLIR Quark...  I wonder if they're using the same camera.  Using the Quark, you should be able to drop a lot of physical size and weight off this unit.  It is cool looking though.

Comment by Josh Potter on November 23, 2012 at 3:08pm

Oh only $3,900, I misread and only saw the highest price of $9000.  That is a nice price for that model.


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