Thermal Imaging Services
Our current aerial platforms give us amazing thermal imaging capabilities. We have a thermal image resolution of 640×512 pixels, which is one of the highest resolutions currently available for an aerial platform. Our aircraft also has a 20 megapixel zoom camera that can capture visible images of the thermal anomaly at during the same mission. So what can we do with a thermal imager?
One of the key uses for aerial thermal imaging is scanning commercial roof structures for evidence of water leaks. As solar energy heats up the roof, it also heats up any water that may be present on, or under, the roof membrane. After the sun has gone down, or the roof is in shadow, the water retains it’s heat, while the roof material gives it up. This allows a thermal imager to “see” any potential water under the structure. Destructive analysis is still required (core samples) in order to determine the true scope, and location of the problem. This still saves potentially very large sums of money not having to remove and replace and entire roof. Thermal imaging from aerial platforms saves building owners in a big way.
Solar Panel Inspections
Failing solar panels on the roof of your house or in a field on your farm can cost you money. Not only does a failing cell often cause the eventual failure of the entire panel, but can cause a cascading failure of other panels as well. Regular thermal inspections of solar panels can keep your energy output at the peak operating output.
Much like looking at roofing materials and structures, thermal imagers allow homeowners and building owners to evaluate heat or air conditioning losses through eves, gable vents, plumbing stacks, doors, windows, and anywhere a hole exists in the structure. While aerial platforms have less use on single story homes, multi-story buildings are much harder to image from the ground. Using an aerial platform allows you to see windows and features on upper floors versus just those on lower floors.
Landscaping might seem like a odd thing to want to use a thermal imager on, but homes and businesses that use underground water systems to irrigate lawns and plants have the potential to pour thousands of gallons of water back into the ground every year from broken water pipes. The same theory that we use on roof systems can apply to ground as well, where water pools under the ground, there is a temperature differential between the wet areas and dry as heat is given off. Golf courses are great use cases, they can see leaks from irrigation systems, ponds, lakes, and other water features as well.
Roads and Parking Lots
As we follow the unusual use cases for thermal imagers, we land on parking lots and roadways. Using the very same technique as most of our other use cases, we can see places in pavement where water has made ingress. Living in northern states, this water ingress is what directly leads to broken pavement and potholes. Surveying your parking lots, and private (or public) roads, can spot trouble before it happens.