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Thermography-Zenmuse XT Camera


The first link below is the manual for the Zenmuse XT camera.

Look this over in detail. I suggest set the drone up and activate the cameras and the Cendence controller and the Crystal sky monitor, without propellers, and inside in the training room. Set the drone up with both cameras, and also with just the XT camera. As you may know from your time practicing with the drone, different options are available on each app: Pilot app and Go4 app. Also note, that some videos listed below show the camera on different drones than the Matrice m210. These other drones have some different functions with the XT camera that is not available to our drone. Take away all that you can. 

Walk through all the options in the programs while having the manual next to you. Go through the camera options with the manual as well. You should have a very good understanding of the camera after that.  


Here is a very basic demo video of the Zenmuse XT camera, and what should look like, no pixelation, when being used.  


Watch this next video about the Zenmuse XT camera.

It shows some basics of the camera and functions. Note: this video is a a few years old, and does not have some of the features the updates have added since then. 


This next video is a good video that goes through some more of the options that are available and on the XT camera.  


Now that you have a good understanding of the Thermal camera,

here is a video that explains the basics of Thermography. I found a lot of this information very helpful. Look more into Thermography, do research on it, and you will have a better understanding of what features on the XT camera will work best for you and the scenarios we may find ourselves in.  


Now, as we utilize our XT for SAR or Firefighting, the below two videos are very valuable in explaining the 


Jumping off of the last video, here is something else to keep in mind in regards to how far away the Thermal camera can view accurately, with detail.  


and now for thermal camera vs. water  


There are a lot of factors that will play into how well the XT works when we get dispatched for calls. For Public Safety and SAR, here are some helpful videos on some of those variables. .


In addition, some options on the XT camera are things like Palette colors and Isotherms. 

The two videos below cover Isotherm and Color Palette. I feel this is important to know because you can not just click on the Isotherm and expect a missing person to just "pop out" on the screen. We hope that will happen, but based on some of the listed variables, that may or may not happen. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that an isotherm will find a victim for you. The Isotherm episode below will teach you when to use isotherms, and when to leave them alone. 


Palette colors-as listed in the video description, "A thermal camera's color palettes aren't just for making pretty pictures. Some can make your job easier, and some can make it all but impossible, so make sure you're using the right palette for your application." See the short video below to find out more. 


For tactical searching, I like this next video. It does not explain the concept very much, but what it does show is the Drone moving. Each pilot can operate their own way. What I have found is that when you are spending more time trying to spin the camera around and zoom in and out and then move the camera and zoom in and out, time is actually being wasted and ground is not being covered. Getting to an appropriate altitude, and some of the above videos give an idea of what that may be based on the different variables, and then moving the drone, not so much the camera, and even using the way point or mission flight mode on the Pilot app, an organized and rapid search of an area can be done. This is important. If an organized search is not completed, you may be spending valuable and critical time searching and researching the same areas and not getting to other areas. In this video, see how the Drone is high up, circling the area. Once the subject spotted, the drone stays nearly directly overhead. Appearing to change the Isotherm and color palette. Hopefully you will get something out of the video, as I did. The video following this one also carries very important tactical information. 


Here is another great video on a demonstration of the XT camera searching. Here is the video description: "Inspire 1 was flown at 400' agl to scan area until subject was found and then dropped to ~200 agl (just above tree tops to maintain contact with subject). Once subject realized they were located, they proceeded to move among the tree cover to hide again but was unsuccessful. Camera was able to continuously track subject." 


I agree with their tactic, as I mentioned previously. Fly at an upper altitude, like they did in the video below, and then drop altitude and maintain visual contact. One thing that is very evident in the below video, is that when the subject gets behind foliage, and you are looking at an angle, you can not see them. When Dusty and I trained with the drone in Georgetown, we  learned a great tactic of flying high and aiming the camera down and very slightly forward, when searching in high brush or foliage areas. If the subject is sitting underneath a tree, looking at an angle if you are on the wrong side of the tree, you can easily miss the subject. Flying directly over head with the camera pointing downward, at a very slight forward angle, seemed to work the best for us then. 


By now, you should have an excellent understanding of the Zenmuse XT camera and it's capabilities. You should know the basic and some advanced features of the camera. If you have not been doing so as you moved along through the videos and reading above, practice the techniques you have learned.


If you would like me to work on any of this with, I will be happy to setup a time with you.



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