Heliguy have just received a delivery of Zenmuse XT gimbals complete with integrated thermal sensors powered by FLIR.
This is very exciting for us as we’re one of the first dealers in the UK with access to this superb product. Our sales and technology teams have been running through its features and functionality, attaching it to an Inspire 1 to examine the quality of its picture modes and how it integrates with the DJI GO app.
You can see us unboxing and testing the Zenmuse XT in the video below:
Before going into how you can get your hands on this in-demand DJI thermal solution and the requirements of buying through Heliguy, let’s take a closer look at why you should take notice of the Zenmuse XT.
Introducing the DJI Zenmuse XT
The DJI Zenmuse XT makes aerial thermal imaging a walk in the park. It’s a combination of DJI’s proficiency in developing gimbals with the market-leading thermal imaging know-how of FLIR. This enables users such as emergency services or those in the agricultural sector can scan with unparalleled precision, over large areas, then save the results to analyse and create in-depth reports.
As previously mentioned, the camera on the Zenmuse XT has been developed by FLIR Systems, renowned architects of some of the best sensors available. Providing high-sensitivity infrared scanning at 640/30fps or 336/30fps (quality dependant on model), the XT’s camera provides precise temperature readings.
The DJI Zenmuse XT unboxed
Each sensor model comes with a choice of four lenses. While this variety is to be applauded, it’s worth noting that you have to select your lens at the point of sale and it can't be changed afterwards. The lens doesn't dramatically affect the price but before you make your purchase, be sure that you've chosen the right one for the specific application you have in mind.
Bear in mind that the required field of view will differ greatly dependant on how close you intend to fly to your subject. Both sensors are compatible with a 9, 13 or 19mm lens. For a wider field of view, the smaller sensor (336x256) takes a 6.8mm and the larger sensor (640x512) has a 7.5mm. Once you’ve made your decisions and got it up and running, the DJI Zenmuse XT and thermal camera provide crisp imagery and 360° of smooth rotational movement.
Currently, this gimbal and thermal tech set-up is compatible with DJI’s Inspire 1, the Matrice 100 and the recently released Matrice 600 hexacopter.
Using FLIR's thermal camera combined with DJI’s Zenmuse XT reveals information that isn’t visible to human eyes by highlighting subtle differences in the temperature of your chosen subject. The ability to utilize this technology has a range of industrial applications, the most prevalent of which are listed below:
Search and rescue: With the help of thermal imaging, finding people in treacherous terrain or densely forested areas will become much more feasible. Locating missing hikers or spotting survivors of natural disasters such as earthquakes and floods are good examples of how access to a thermal sensor could benefit search and rescue efforts. or humanitarian relief.
Surveillance: Unfortunately, we live in a time when increased vigilance is necessary. The Zenmuse XT thermal’s ability to detect heat signatures and movement means the camera can be used effectively for security or surveillance applications.
Energy surveys: Thermal cameras are also useful in other industrial sectors such as energy monitoring. The ability to detect heat loss from buildings is a huge help for those conducting aerial surveys. The camera can detect hot-spots in other situations such as when the cables or circuits overheat in an electricity substation or even measuring the effectiveness of solar panels.
Examples of the Zenmuse XT Thermal's image modes
Agriculture: Potential uses of thermal technology in the agricultural sector includes the monitoring of nurseries and greenhouses, detecting disease in plants, scheduling irrigation, estimating yields and evaluating the maturity of fruit, and even bruise detection in fruits and vegetables. Using sensors like the FLIR thermal camera will streamline what, in the past, have always been costly, time-consuming jobs.
Firefighting: Having an aerial thermal camera gives fire departments detailed information about where hot spots are located and also potential flash points. The most important benefit is that this technology helps keep firefighters out of danger until accurate assessments of the scene can be made. At Heliguy, we've already seen interest in the XT thermal camera set-up from UK Fire and Rescue services. Using a lightweight, ready-to-fly drone like the DJI Inspire coupled with the Zenmuse XT, emergency services are able get a camera in the air to assess and observe fires in real-time.
Features and Functionality
The Zenmuse XT comes with a range of image enhancing options developed by FLIR. The marquee features include:
Digital Detail Enhancement: Increases the dynamic range, helping to display faint objects and details more clearly
Smart Scene Optimization: Used to enhance extremes in bi-modal scenes
Active Contrast Enhancement: Keeps the image clear as it can adjust contrast relative to temperature difference
Information Based HEQ: This feature compresses complex visual data, creating a high quality image
DJI’s gimbal can also be controlled intuitively through their DJI GO app. This provides a low-latency, real-time perspective of the camera’s viewpoint, complete with instant access to core camera functions.
DJI GO app interface
Whether it’s used with DJI’s Inspire 1, the M100 or the M600, the Zenmuse XT can be airborne in seconds. It is seamlessly integrated, with full access to features including the DJI Lightbridge video transmission system, automated Point of Interest, Course and Home Lock, Follow Me, and the DJI SDK.
Our Take on the Zenmuse XT Thermal
DJI has increasingly set its sights on the industrial market in recent months, with the Matrice 600 being marketed towards both professional filmmakers and aerial photographers as well as businesses looking to survey and monitor large structures. This goes hand in hand with their decision to get involved with the thermal market.
The Zenmuse XT thermal and their partnership with FLIR give DJI a distinct advantage, especially when coupled with popular drone models such as the DJI Inspire 1.
We’ve enjoyed getting hands on with the XT here at Heliguy and we’re certainly impressed by what we’ve seen. The duo of DJI’s gimbal expertise coupled with FLIR’s thermal flair is definitely a winning combination.
Here are some of our favourite features offered by the Zenmuse XT:
Its capacity to measure temperature and perform non-contact assessments and diagnoses
The enhanced long range imaging which reduces atmospheric interference and allows for better contrast
Accurate detection of people and animals makes it an ideal platform for reliable analytics
The ability to detect gas emissions allows for safer containment of incidents
Visibility, even in total darkness, which allows for great quality imaging, day or night
The XT isn’t affected by smoke, light fog, rain, dust or foliage removing the challenges posed by obscurants
We’re looking forward to comparing it to other thermal solutions in the coming weeks so keep checking back to Heliguy Insider.
Due to regulations we are only able to supply the Zenmuse XT with thermal camera for the Inspire 1 and Matrice models to UK clients. We are also unable to sell it to those that are wishing to export it, or anyone without a valid application. Upon purchase from Heliguy, the XT cannot be resold to an individual, business or industry.
Our staff are available from 9-5 Mon-Fri to answer any questions you may have about the DJI Zenmuse XT.
We're here to help, give us a call:
UK:0845 838 8652
International: +44 (0)191 296 1024
You need a drone license when you are flying as a commercial drone pilot, ie when you are using your drone for work and money-making purposes. This means, in most cases, you will need to sit the FAA Part 107 test.
You do not need a drone license when you are flying as a hobby and for purely recreational purposes. However, you will need to operate by strict rules. There are plans to introduce the requirement for hobbyists to pass an online aeronautical knowledge and safety test.