Presentation Type

Poster

Faculty Mentor’s Full Name

Jaylene Naylor

Faculty Mentor’s Department

Physics and Astronomy

Abstract

There is an increasing demand for infrared cameras aboard small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) for research in wildlife biology, fire, geology, land management practices, and emergency services. The University of Montana’s Autonomous Aerial Systems Office regularly flies missions with infrared cameras on sUAS. Because sUAS generally use infrared cameras without onboard temperature control systems due to weight restrictions, temperature measurements are highly affected by internal camera temperature and the cameras need regular calibration. This project documents an attempt to calibrate one of these cameras without accessing the camera’s internal thermistor.

For calibration, an aluminum mirror reflected the camera’s internal thermal radiation back at its own sensors. A blackbody source provided a known temperature to calibrate against. Around half of the Vue Pro R camera’s temperature measurements of the blackbody were beyond the manufacturer’s uncertainty (5℃).

The study revealed that without calibration, the Vue Pro R has too high of a measurement uncertainty for many applications in wildlife biology. Finding a lightweight infrared camera that fits on a sUAS and better accounts for internal temperature is needed.

Category

Physical Sciences

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Thermal Calibration of Infrared Cameras for Use on Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems

There is an increasing demand for infrared cameras aboard small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) for research in wildlife biology, fire, geology, land management practices, and emergency services. The University of Montana’s Autonomous Aerial Systems Office regularly flies missions with infrared cameras on sUAS. Because sUAS generally use infrared cameras without onboard temperature control systems due to weight restrictions, temperature measurements are highly affected by internal camera temperature and the cameras need regular calibration. This project documents an attempt to calibrate one of these cameras without accessing the camera’s internal thermistor.

For calibration, an aluminum mirror reflected the camera’s internal thermal radiation back at its own sensors. A blackbody source provided a known temperature to calibrate against. Around half of the Vue Pro R camera’s temperature measurements of the blackbody were beyond the manufacturer’s uncertainty (5℃).

The study revealed that without calibration, the Vue Pro R has too high of a measurement uncertainty for many applications in wildlife biology. Finding a lightweight infrared camera that fits on a sUAS and better accounts for internal temperature is needed.