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Night Vision/Starlight Camera Drone VS Thermal Camera Drone

Night Vision/Starlight Camera Drone VS Thermal Camera Drone

Commercial drones often have higher-definition cameras and higher-performance sensors, which make it possible for drones to work at night. The drones that are best suited for night work are usually equipped with thermal imaging or starlight cameras. Here we will compare the starlight camera drone and thermal camera drone.

Thermal Imaging Drone

Thermal imaging works by detecting the thermal energy or thermal signature naturally emitted by animate and inanimate objects. A thermal imaging camera is equipped with a highly sophisticated lens and sensor system that allows invisible infrared frequencies to pass through, allowing it to measure the surface temperature of an object. An image processor uses the resulting data to create so-called thermograms, or color maps showing different temperature values.

For public safety and search and rescue teams, the ground and ambient temperatures cool down at night after the sun goes down, while the bodies of missing people warm up. It is this detectable thermal difference that makes thermal imaging drones such an important night vision solution.

Although a thermal camera is highly sensitive, it is affected by several factors such as time of day, surface conditions and reflectivity of objects.

Starlight Camera Drone

The starlight sensor works by collecting any small amount of light at night from sources such as starlight or moonlight and amplifying it for better vision.

In the past, night vision cameras with starlight sensors used a technology called electro-optical image enhancement. Here, light passes through a series of lenses and an image intensifier tube, which converts incoming photons into electrons. Those electrons then hit a phosphor-coated screen, creating the characteristic green glowing image you might see in spy movies or games like Call of Duty.

Modern starlight sensors utilize a technique called digital image enhancement, which is an updated version of traditional light amplification. In digital image enhancement, CMOS sensors are used to convert light into digital signals. These signals are then electronically enhanced and magnified several times for clarity before being projected onto a screen as a visible light image.

Starlight sensors have wider apertures and slower shutter speeds so that more light can reach the camera. These sensors work with algorithms that suppress image noise and improve image quality. Night vision drones use digital image enhancement as it allows for more compact, lighter and versatile payloads.

In conclusion

In the Autel drone series, thermal imaging drones are the first choice for Autel EVO II Dual 640T series, and starlight camera drones are the first choice for Autel EVO MAX 4N. Thermal imaging drones and starlight camera drones provide conditions for drone night vision, and also provide new clarity at night for first responders, law enforcement agencies, inspectors, and wildlife protection teams to perform 24/7 missions.

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