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Thermal aerial survey

Thermal aerial survey is registration of electromagnetic objects’ emission in thermal infrared spectrum range and its reflection in an image and representation of its result like an image.

Thermal emission, whose intensity depends on temperature, can be detected by thermal detectors and transformed into a visible image showing differences in objects’ temperature. Thermal survey can be performed both in day and at night time. At thermal-range Earth remote sensing transmission windows are used with a 3-5, 8-14 micrometer wave length. This range shows own emission of earth surface objects.

Thermal vision observation is a type of thermal control for which a thermal observation device is used as measuring equipment. The thermal observation device allows “seeing the heat” and detecting a thermal image on the display. The main distinctive feature of this method is that the thermal observation device allows seeing what cannot be seen with an unaided eye. Man’s eye cannot detect objects’ temperature, but the thermal observation device is capable of showing n its display a +/-1 °С accuracy thermogram of an object.

Thermal survey application areas:

Engineering applications

High geometric and temperature resolution of digital thermal imagery and wide capture allow performance of operative and productive monitoring of engineering systems, for instance the condition of oil and gas pipelines, heat distribution networks, which considering their depreciation provides for resource economy.


The efficient thermal aerial survey is applied combined with visible and other spectral range survey (multispectral survey) in ecologic applications for detection and monitoring of different scale wastes from city collectors to oil pollution of water areas.

Forest resources management

Provides for performance of efficient taxation works with the use of automated imagery classification method, assessment of condition of tree and shrubbery vegetation, detection and monitoring of forest fires. 


Yield monitoring of agricultural crops, classification of soil, detection of its degradation, assessment of pest spread and crop infestation.

Engineering geology and hydrology

Detection of raw hydrocarbon deposits. A fact of presence of big-size and small-amplitude temperature anomalies above hydrocarbon deposits is a prerequisite for application of thermal survey for this purpose. They can be detected based only on night thermal aerial survey data with the use of special processing methods. Detection and monitoring of thermobaric occurrences in hydrology.