We will tell you right off the bat that, as of early 2017, 3D Robotics (3DR)…
Drones with thermal cameras are incredibly useful in many scenarios, offering thermal imaging of different environments. We’ve shortlisted and reviewed the best thermal drones on the market.
Thermal imaging is highly advantageous for people in many professions. It’s a powerful way of inspecting particular areas and pinpointing temperature changes. The simple definition of thermal imaging is that it lets you see how hot certain things are. An object can be viewed under a thermal camera and it will be a particular color – this tends to range from blue to red. The closer to the red end of the spectrum, the hotter the object is. This is because the camera displays the thermal energy it gives off.
This type of technology is commonly used by property inspectors and many other professionals. As it happens, plenty of drones come equipped with thermal imaging technology. This lets you fly up in the sky and survey a large area through the thermal camera. As you can imagine, this will be very helpful for a lot of people.
Here Are The Best Drones With Thermal Cameras:
Parrot Anafi Thermal Drone
DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise
DJI Matrice 300 RTK
DJI Matrice 210 RTK
Parrot Anafi Thermal Drone
Best Drone With Thermal Camera #1 Parrot Anafi Thermal Drone
The Anafi Thermal is a professional-grade drone by Parrot, offering lots of very impressive specifications. Most notably, it offers Fusion 4K + Thermal video. This means you see crystal clear thermal imaging when flying your drone, as well as the option to combine your regular video with thermal imaging. What is the benefit of this? It means you have absolutely no doubt where the thermal energy is coming from, seeing as you can see the rest of the image in its normal view.
The fun doesn’t stop there, as there’s a colorization feature that lets you pinpoint specific areas of interest. For instance, if you’re looking for a water or boiler leak, you can set the camera to only search for this. As a result, you’ll easily see where the leaks originate from and how far they travel.
Alongside its nightly thermal capabilities, the Anafi Thermal can withstand temperatures up to between -10 and 50 degrees celsius, as well as winds of 50 km/h. It’s only 315 grams, making it one of the more portable options in this class.
#2 DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced
The Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced is considered by many to be the ultimate tactical drone. It boasts a 48MP visual camera, along with a 640 x 512 px thermal camera. The two work together with a 32 x digital zoom to create some highly accurate imagery. Everything is in the crisp high-resolution video, and the drone is capable of centimeter-level positioning. All of this is available from a distance of up to 10km, meaning you can survey huge areas all in one go.
There is so much tech to unpack in this drone, and the accuracy of the thermal camera is definitely a high point. It has a plus or minus 2 degrees temperature measurement accuracy, which is one of the best-in-class. There’s also an area measurement feature that provides an accurate view of how large the area you’re scanning is!
As you would expect from a DJI model, it comes with expert stability and numerous sensors to avoid objects. You’ll have to pay around $2,000 for the most basic version of this drone, but you certainly get a lot for that price.
#3 DJI Matrice 300 RTK
The DJI Matrice 300 RTK gives you 55 minutes of flight time, which is more than enough to get the job done. It has a whole host of outstanding AI capabilities, including a Smart Inspection feature. This lets you identify and check for many different things all at once, and the drone will pinpoint them for you. It’s highly intelligent technology, which is why this is one of the most sought-after drones around.
With this drone – and the next one on the list – you need to buy a compatible thermal camera to use it for thermal imaging. Thankfully, it is compatible with the Zenmuse XT2 camera, giving robust dual-sensor thermal imaging. It comes with incredible sensors that let you check temperatures with ease – and you can even use the Matrice 300 RTK to set a specific temperature to look for, sounding an alarm when it is found. It fits seamlessly onto the drone and is the perfect accompaniment for a drone so robust it’s used in many hazardous industries.
#4 DJI Matrice 210 RTK
The entire Matrice 200 series is also compatible with the Zenmuse XTK camera, but the 210 RTK is the pick of the bunch. It boasts an FPV camera and anti-collision beacons, as well as a very useful discreet mode. This quietens the drone and makes it harder to see or hear, which is perfect for any missions or scenarios where you don’t want to make a racket.
As with all drones in this category, the build quality is exceptional as it is made to withstand harsh conditions. It’s water-resistant and handles tough winds, offering you a strong and stable option when completing a job. Of course, when equipped with the XTK camera, you get all the thermal imaging features mentioned above. One excellent feature is that you can mount a camera on the top of the drone – this is perfect in scenarios where you need to be underneath something to view the thermal imaging. It’s a unique feature of the 210 RTK, which is why it stands out from the other members of the Matrice 200 squad.
Best Drone With Thermal Camera Conclusion
In reality, there aren’t many thermal camera drones on the market right now. The key thing to consider is that you find an option that delivers accurate imagery. When viewing thermal images, you need to ensure that the temperatures are as they seem. All of the products on this list are proven to succeed in the accuracy area. Also, a good thermal imagery drone will need excellent zoom capabilities to stay out of harm’s way in some situations. Be advised, all of the options we’ve reviewed are above $1,000 in price. This is because they’re typically used by professionals in different industries, not as hobby drones!