For sometime now I've been waiting for DJI to release a thermal solution for the Mavic series. Two years ago we put our engineering team's energy into developing our own Mavic thermal called the Mavic HeatSeeker. Using the FLIR Boson 320 sensor (optional 640 pixel upgrade) we've seen great success with our unit.
Image: FLIR HeatSeeker (Commercial Drones Custom Build)
Although a great product we have however noticed two down sides to the Heatseeker:
1) FLIR camera not in a gimbal - footage can be jittery however for security liquid smooth footage isn't needed. Watch video.
2) The FLIR Boson footage was transmitted via a 3rd party device & not via DJI Occusync or lightbridge (IE: Directly to tablet / Crystal Sky tablet). We achieved 10KM transmission range which we were very happy with.
The new Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual model certainly has some pro's and con's. Firstly the thermal core is fully integrated into the UAV which resolves our two problems but then the thermal sensor is only 160 x 120 pixels appose to our 320 or 640 pixel options. The FLIR lepton sensor is smaller than a South African 50 cent coin, with this size and weight we'll see the flight time of the Mavic Enterprise Dual still within the 28 min mark. The FLIR Lepton is one tenth the cost of a traditional thermal camera which makes this the first 'low cost' proprietary thermal solution on the market. From my experience the FLIR lepton will be great solution for Inspections, Search and rescue, powerline inspections, boiler inspections. Security applications with the Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual will be more close combat or indoor tactical use. For long range or more discreet security surveillance I highly suggest the FLIR XT2 range on the M200 series aircraft.
Each aircraft in your fleet has a specific purpose. Understanding how the Mavic Dual thermal fits into your fleet you need to understand the different image formats of 160 pixels Vs 640 pixels. Lets compare a FLIR Tau 2 core (found in a FLIR XT payload) VS a FLIR Lepton core found in the Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual.
Note the resolution of the Tau 2 being 640 pixels horizontally and the 512 pixels vertically. This gives you an overall 327,680 infrared pixels. The Lepton only gives you 6% (5.86% to be exact) of the pixels in comparison.
The table above is in feet but this gives you a good idea of the smallest detectable object VS different payload resolution options. For example at 100 feet (30,48 Meters) the smallest detectable object with the lepton 160 sensor is 37.5 inches (95.25cm) in size. This table is incredibly useful to understand which thermal payload is best for your application.
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Lets me share a test case to provide some clarity on this. In the test case we use the 16 inch (40cm) pizza pan. See the picture below. Although small the 40cm pizza pan is a good example of the surface area we can expect to see of a human suspect hiding in a field.
At 7.62 Meters we can clearly see the object. Note however you can see the cracks in the pavement with the 640 core. Note the Mavic 2 Dual thermal will have FLIR MSX technology so detail as such should be visible with the Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual.
At 15.24 Meters we still able to get good identification with both thermal core units.
At 22.86 Meters the Mavic 2 thermal Lepton sensor starts to blur the target. The 640 camera still has clean visual and able to identify the cracks in pavement.
At 30.48 meters the lepton core is no longer sufficient.
As you can see in Test 6 the object is no longer visible by the Mavic Dual Enterprise drone hence my recommendation that ROC holders see the Mavic thermal as a close combat solution rather than a discreet surveillance option. For long range solutions I suggest the FLIR XT2 and Matrice 200 series. The Mavic 2 Enterprise thermal is ideal for search and rescue, fire fighting, inspections and even powerline inspections.
Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual Specifications:
The fact the camera on the Mavic 2 Enterprise thermal has a dual visual and thermal sensor means we'll see the integration of the FLIR MSX technology which provides finer detail on the FLIR imagery.
The dual camera will have the following features:
- Visible & Thermal Imagery
- Integrated Radiometric FLIR Thermal Sensor
- Adjustable Parameters
- For Emissivity & Reflective Surfaces
- Multiple Display Modes: FLIR MSX®, Infrared & Visible
FLIR MSX Technology: Combines visual and thermal video. Notice the finer detail in the thermal video. Outlines of buildings and objects. This is not traditionally seen in standard thermal imagery.
Spot Meter: The Mavic Enterprise Dual thermal (Lepton core) is radiometric and allows users to measure the surface temperate of the object in picture.
Area Measurement: Allows you to select an area where you want the hottest and the coldest spots identified and measured. Great for inspection (Powerlines, Boiler rooms and solar panels)
We'll post our test video soon showcasing the Mavic 2 Thermal Dual in action. If you have any question or you wanting to purchase please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 011 886 0190.