We are looking at how to get a more stable and accurate temperature measurement from a small non-cooled microbolometer thermal camera typically used on a UAS. For this project, we tested a Flir Vue Pro-R camera. Initially we tested it on the bench whilst imaging a black body. It was then tested in the air mounted to a UAS and found the temperature stability to be poor and related to the amount of cooling air the camera was receiving.
Currently, we are testing the ThermalCapture Calibrator external shutter system that shields the camera and provides it with a heated shutter to improve the accuracy of the temperature measurements. Again, we are calibrating it against a blackbody on the bench and following up with flight tests.
This project is a collaboration with the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia.