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Optical Zoom Thermal Camera: the future of SAR and Inspection is here?

We introduce the VuIR Tab Zoom, the Thermal Gimbal Camera for Drones with 8X Optical Zoom. It's lightweight, affordable, upgradable and drone agnostic. Great for Search and Rescue, Inspections... FLIR Thermal vision with Optical Zoom. Home of VuIR products: smart, self-powered, drone agnostic thermal vision payloads We always are very eager to bring you new good updates in drone thermal vision solutions, because not only these can show what we can engineer for your demands, but also it’s about knowledge in general. From Boson for Mavic drone, to Vue Pro for Phantom 4 Pro to Duo Pro R for Inspire 2 and bigger drones. We have made a few good solutions.

And today probably is one of the major developments we have come up with, that may set the trend for the coming years: It is Optical Zoom for Thermal Vision for drones, the quality zoom with lossless details.

And here it is, the VuIR Tab Zoom with 8X thermal optical zoom. This is the first fully functional prototype we have built in a rapid time frame from start to finish and testing. As you can see, it is similar to a regular VuIR Tab HD, because it can be easily mounted on a drone and be transferred to a handle and back as equally easily.

This prototype has 8X optical zoom and 4X digital zoom, making it up to 32X total zoom.

Why Optical Zoom? You could have been in a situation where you bought a thermal camera, and it turns out to be too narrow or too wide. You wish you had chosen a different one, or better yet, the camera had optical zoom. So far, when we are talking about zoom for thermal vision systems for sUAS’s or drones, we are stuck with the so-called Digital Zoom. Even the most advanced, most expensive gimmeras like the DJI Zenmuse XT2 still has only the Digital Zoom. Digital Zoom is actually blowing up (scaling up) an image or a video to see a smaller portion or area of it, and displaying that area bigger. You essentially will not have more details when you do digital zoom. As you can see here, the blob just gets proportionately bigger, but the details remain the same. If it’s truly because of the small size on the screen, your eyes can make out the object, blowing it up digitally might help. But generally, that does not offer great benefits or solve the problem.

That is why we need optical zoom, meaning, zooming in on an object bringing the same amount of details for the whole view, down to that smaller area only. Optical because it mainly has to do with the camera lens itself, not the software behind the camera. So as a result, the object or objects of interest get bigger on the screen and there come more details with them. As a result, you can see things much clearer with optical zoom. This is great for search and rescue, inspections...

There are cameras with true thermal optical zoom. However, there are at least two issues with these when talking about drone integration. They are expensive: we are talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars. Say for example the FLIR M500 professional thermal camera with optical zoom. Our VuIR Tab Zoom is only in the range of a $5000 to about $16000, even less expensive than the Zenmuse XT2s

They are big and heavy: Say even if you have that budget to buy the expensive system, you still have to solve this second issue: size and weight, they’re big and heavy. This means most of the time you will likely need a manned aircraft to carry them, or at least you need a heavy lifter drones. As you can see here, the VuIR Tab Zoom is lightweight, weighing about 1-1.5 lbs. (or 450 - 600 grams). Even a Phantom 4 pro can carry it. We recommend using an Inspire 1 or Inspire 2 or something similar for more reliability.

On top of these, our system is upgradable. Besides inheriting all the great mobility quality of a VuIR thermal system, the Tab Zoom also is upgradable. Upgradability means that, you could start with a smaller configuration, with a smaller optical zoom magnification. Then, later down the road, when your business gets bigger, have more jobs,.. Great news, congratulations. Now you would think, huh, I wish I had chosen a better configuration the first place. Worries not! You can upgrade to a bigger zoom magnification by sending it back, we will be able to upgrade it for you, and everything you have purchased is now part of the new bigger zoom system. Once again, we’re making it affordable for you.

This is the first fully functional prototype we have built in a short period of time to showcase the concept. There are more room for improvement and we are working on that. By the time you are watching this video, chances are it’s already few months down the road and we will have already perfected it. Right now, if you think this functional concept is great for your works, please let us know, contact us and we are happy to discuss further. We are constantly listening to all your requests and make changes, and design new things to best serve you.

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