A new partnership between Autel Robotics and Skyebrowse introduces videogrammetry for thermal mapping: helping first responders perform night-time accident reconstruction, pre-plan for wildfires, and perform swat scouts.
The following is a guest post by Gulraiz Khalid, Marketing Director at SkyeBrowse. DRONELIFE neither accepts nor makes payment for guest posts.
In early 2020, SkyeBrowse introduced 3D mapping through videogrammetry, the process of creating 3D models using one video, instead of hundreds of pictures. This became a force multiplier, which increased the processing speed and accuracy of the models.
Thermal mapping however is a bit different than RGB 3D models. Until recently, first responders mainly relied on expensive satellite imagery for wildfire prediction. The capture speed of photogrammetry is too slow for accurate thermal maps, which has limited the use of this technology. Models are blurred because of the different thermal calibrations throughout the long and tedious process; this happens because FFC (flat field correction) recalibrates after every 5 minutes, changing the emissivity and affecting output.
Videogrammetry is the elegant solution to this problem, as the reality capture is based on a single video which is shot in 90 seconds without camera recalibration. After a long period of research, development and testing, SkyeBrowse has announced a videogrammetry thermal mapping feature in partnership with drone manufacturer, Autel Robotics. This allows for the democratization of 3D modeling, both through visual cameras and non-radiometric thermal cameras.
“Thermal mapping provides countless benefits to firefighting, search and rescue, and night time situational awareness. SkyeBrowse is extremely proud to announce this capability together with Autel and hopes to support first responders even more with its technology”, said CEO of SkyeBrowse, Bobby Ouyang while making the announcement.
Commenting on the partnership, Autel Robotics CEO, Randall Warnas says “We’re excited to be partnering with SkyeBrowse to equip public safety with purpose-built 3D modeling technology. With the new integration, Autel Evo II drones will be able to make 3D models in 90 seconds. We see thermal mapping to be a force multiplier for night time 3D modeling, fire fighting, and SAR.”
Thermal mapping through videogrammetry brings many benefits; the technology will enable determination of hotspots of a fire in near-real time which means fire rescuers can focus their efforts on hotspots early on into the operation. Furthermore, the models also help figure out where the fire will spread to. These two benefits combined with the fact that the model is produced within minutes significantly change how fire departments have used drones and thermal mapping in the past and provide them with a clear advantage in their operations.
Commenting on thermal mapping, Chief Scott Mlakar of Willoughby Fire Department says, “thermal mapping makes a huge difference in how we deal with various situations. Commercial roof thermal mapping allows us to see the extent of fire spread on large commercial structural fires and get ahead of them in time. It’s also excellent for fire investigations post-fire to map up hotspots and assist with fire watch.” He further added, “Wildfire planning and wildfires thermal mapping allows us to see the entirety of the incident and place resources where they’re needed based upon existing weather conditions and access.”
In practical situations, SkyeBrowse’s patented videogrammetry completes the flight and recording in just 90 seconds and takes up to 10 minutes to produce the model. This enables rapid situation awareness for firefighters.
The benefits of thermal mapping are not limited to fire rescue situations. Amongst other scenarios, thermal mapping can be used in night time accident reconstruction to determine fresh skid and yaw marks. Thermal mapping technology is also useful in tactical flights for SWAT scouts at night and hostage situations.
While the feature is still to be made publicly available, it has already been tested by selected first responders. In case you wish to join the waitlist for early access, you can register here.
Gulraiz is a tech enthusiast having experience in the AI, IoT and the UAS space. He has extensive experience deploying AI initiatives across both the public and private sector and has also been a mentor for Dubai Future Accelerators UAE. Gulraiz is part of the SkyeBrowse team which is responsible for the simplified 2 tap 3D modeling through drones that is helping first responders across the world.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam.
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