Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions, Knowledgebase

Technical FAQ – ThermalCapture

Please note that in the following, the term “ThermalCapture” is abbreviated by “TC”.

Does adding the ThermalCapture module replace the VPC module?

Yes: The ThermalCapture add-on does replace the VPC module.

I am interested in either using a TAU or QUARK core. What is the difference of the two? What is when recommended?

Quark and Tau cores deliver the same output, if used together with a VPC module. If fully radiometric data is important for your application a Tau core is the right choice. If only the weight matters, than the Quark core may be an alternative. Nevertheless the Quark cores do not have a built-in mechanical shutter. Therefore produced images may get out of contrast after some time of usage due to temperature changes within the camera itself.
ThermalCapture is currently only available for Tau cores, since the focus is clearly on fully radiometric per pixel data. Maybe there will also be a Quark version in the future.

Can you get the streamed video transmitted to a ground station?

Yes: a permanently streamed video (analog) is available – as with the VPC module.

Does Tau 2 162 have the advanced radiometric option?

No the 160, 162 and 168 cores are not available together with the advanced radiometry option.

How accurate are the temperature measurements with the advanced radiometric option?

ThermalCapture stores the TLinear output of the Tau cores. FLIR states a “typical performance on the order of +/- 5°“ in their Product specifications (page 41). Be aware that temperature readings are depending on various parameters like emissivity of the object, environment temperature, wether condition and many more. In order to get really good results it is essential to estimate those parameters for every measurement. FLIR offers good trainings for that. I can get you more informations on that point if you like.
In short: If the surrounding parameters are estimated really good the accuracy should be even better that 5 degrees.

Is the imagery saved to a USB stick?

Yes, the raw footage is being saved to a USB stick.

Is it possible to collect the full 14-bit data?

Yes, we do store the fully 14-bit data.

What frame rate can be captured?

We are able to store 30Hz for the 324 and 336 series. And up to 11Hz for the Tau 640. ThermalCapture was designed to fit the 9Hz versions, which it perfectly does. And from our experience even the 9 Hz are too much for most applications since you have too much redundant data for post-processing, which unnecessarily extends your time needed to get results.

Does TC capture only still images or also video from Tau 2 cores?

TC records single frames from the Tau 2 cores. In the postporcessing they can be converted into multiple formats, like single images or videos.

How long can I record with TC?

As an example: With a Tau 2 640 core, 9Hz version ThermalCapture is able to store about 45min- and 2,5 hours for the lower resolution cores of raw footage to a 8 Gigabyte memory stick.

Could you record at a slower rate, and can you record based on an external trigger?

Yes, both is possible. We do have a trigger input and you can configure the device to skip frames from recording.

Can I patch flight data into the digital recordings?

ThermalCapture has a serial interface, to which you can basically connect anything, that delivers data over such an interface. This data is sent to a ring buffer and stored with every recorded image from ThermalCapture. If there is position information within this data we can implement the appropriate parser into our software ThermoViewer and then every picture will be geotagged. This is of course only the current status and if there is demand for an update in whatever matter, we are always open for adoptions. We already had a look into the Mavlink protocol, in terms of a project with a German UAV manufacturer. So parsing this data will not be the problem. The question is: Does your UAVs provide a serial interface to deliver this data?

Is there a way to only take one single snapshot or will one usually get a set of snapshots?

Using the trigger for only a very short time will result in taking one snapshot. Technically the „videos“ are in fact also single snapshots with a high rate.

Are there any issues with heat dissipation? Do one need to provide a thermal connection to TC in order to conduct the heat away?

All clients are using the device without any special heat conductor. One can safely use it on a desk. If ThermalCapture is mounted under a UAV it will get cooled by the downwind of the vehicle.

Is GPS output (from a Mikrokopter) functioning with TC?

Yes, it is! TeAx implemented a parser for downlink information of microdrones UAVs and an NMEA parser. If one can provide a protocol specification for your UAVs serial output TeAx can also add this to TV. Direct data from most GPS receivers should be at the NMEA standard and therefore be working.

What memory-stick should be used (in terms of space)

We typically equip a 8GB memory stick to TC. The data rate is rather low. If one use the Tau 640 (highest available resolution) with a 9Hz for example, one is able to store 45 minutes and 2,5 hours for the lower resolution cores;

Which type of USB stick should I use?

We made best experiences with Sandisk products.

How difficult will be the mounting process? Will TeAx provide warranty and/or support if one acquires it from TeAx?

The mounting of ThermalCapture is not hard, but requires very careful work. Of course TeAx will provide warranty and support for ThermalCapture. Feel free to download the PDF <>.

Technical FAQ – ThermalViewer

Please note that in the following, the term “ThermalViewer” is abbreviated by “TV”.

What are current formats, TV saves images to?

TV exports images into the following formats:

  • Radiometric JPG (compatible with FLIR Tools)
  • PNG
  • JPG
  • AVI
  • CSV for further data processing

If one should need additional formats, just get back to TeAx Technology – we will make it happen.

Can I see the temperature in each pixel of the image in the software?

Yes indeed! This feature is provided within TV.

Can TC store raw static images or can they be extracted from the video?

Basically, TC always stores single frames, but they are put together into one file to reduce file system activity. In our TV software you can access every single frame independently.