discussion / Drones  / 21 September 2018

Thermal imaging, drones, and loggerhead sea turtles: a #tech4wildlife case study using FLIR's new Duo Pro R camera


Megan Ossmann (@meganossmann) shared with us a neat case study that is relevant to this group, In it, she documents her work with @Eric+Becker testing out FLIR’s new Duo Pro R thermal camera as a detection tool for loggerhead sea turtle nests. 

 This past April, FLIR Systems, a leader in the thermal-imaging world, released a camera that combines both thermal tech and UAV applications in one innovative package: the FLIR Duo Pro R. Designed to be mounted on a drone, the Duo Pro R combines a high resolution, radiometric thermal imager, 4K color camera, and full suite of onboard sensors. The camera is capable of capturing both visible and thermal data in a single flight, as well as automatically geo-tagging each captured image. 

In July, I flew down to the Florida panhandle to join Eric Becker, WWF’s in-house Conservation Engineer, in testing out the Duo Pro R. Being surrounded by marine life, we decided to test whether it was possible for the thermal camera to detect sea turtle nests on the beach. This idea stemmed from literature stating that the area containing a nest will typically be 1-2o F warmer than the surrounding sand, particularly at the late stages of incubation 

@Rob+Appleby had some questions about the methodology over on twitter.

Great work Megan and Eric. I was interested to see the restriction of the temperature range you were able to achieve in Round 3. Is this post-processed in the Flir software, and, can it be done with video do you know, as it's such a useful feature?

— Rob Appleby (@wildspyrob) September 20, 2018

I'm fairly certain neither Megan or Eric are active on twitter but they are here, so I'm starting this thread to give a space to allow Megan and Eric to field questions like this about their approach. @meganossmann , do you want to jump in here and take up rob's question?