Back in February, with the help of out good friends at the Woodland Hills fire department, we were able to conduct some field testing with a FLIR FC-645R and an AXIS Q8742-LE.
Our results were promising! We set up two different sites, site Alpha, which was 1,520.39 ft (0.463 km) away from the camera site, and site Bravo, which was 2,728.33 ft (0.832 km) away. At each site, our friendly firefighters lit a small fire, and we pointed our cameras at the sites to see if we could see a temperature increase.
It was a cold day with an ambient temperature of only 44 degrees Fahrenheit. Looking at site Alpha, we were able to pick up temperatures of over 200 degrees for a fire that measured 1100 degrees onsite. Looking at site Bravo, we were able to read temperatures above 140 degrees from a 3ft high flame.
There are many factors that determine the accuracy of a temperature reading from a radiometric camera, including the distance from the object, the ambient temperature, wind speed, and reflectivity of the object. Many of these factors were against us, so the fact that we were able to pick up these temperature increases shows the viability of detecting these events using thermal imaging.
This was just a simple test to determine the range of these thermal cameras, but we were pleased to see these results. More tests will follow as we get these cameras deployed!