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Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Discussion' started by sbarton, Nov 12, 2014.
Would it be possible to add a mini IR camera, DVR, and IR illuminators to fly at night?
Just bear in mind that well the quad might be able to "see" in the dark you cant.
In other words probably not a good idea
I've flown at night and actually have better range/visibility los of the quad because of the lights at night. Ie. I can see exactly where the quad is at night but at same distances I lose it visually during the day.
Any way it would be cool to also have video and FPV at night while still flying within visual sight range.
Why ask then,just do it
I've got a P2V+, so not sure how video, telemetry, and FPV work on a P2.
Do any of those devices integrated with NAZA or main controller in the P2 or are they totally external systems?
It's doable, but you'd want to test the setup you plan to use on the ground first to see about the actual range and quality that you can see with that. Those things sitting still on the ground where there are objects for the IR to reflect off of is one thing, strapped to a P2 100ft up where there is noting but air, that's something completely different. You'd want to test how the P2 lighting will affect the camera, as they may need to be masked which could make keeping track of it more difficult farther away for LOS flight in the dark. The power requirements of everything should be figured out, as well as how the video really looks when moving it all around on the ground in the dark before strapping it all onto your P2 and sending it up into the blackness to just be dead weight or only catch the ground, tree or whatever solid object a few feet before the crash happens.
Keep in mind that the IR illuminators probably only have a range of 75' at the most if even that.
That would be my concern. It is hard enough to fly by FPV. If your range is only the range of the IR it is going to be really short. That will be hard to navigate.
Although the IR spotlight that you have in your picture has a range of 170 feet, that thing is really big and being waterproof, its probably really heavy. Too heavy for a P2.
Just the camera without the spotlight you only have a range of 15 feet.
best option would be IR lens on top of GoPro keeping the normal FPV . . .it wld show heat sources but the dreaded stick or limb (cool source) would probably create a audden ground incident. too bad FLIR doesnt make a GOPRO IR lens like they do for the iphone (androids soon) . . .have you seen that? I saw one in person last week - amazing technology for sure !!
You can't "add a lens" to make a camera see IR. I wish it were so easy, but most digital cameras have an IR cutoff filter built in to remove any IR from reaching the sensor. Here's a video explaining it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=frtQxryDTo8.
Here's a video showing how to do it with the Hero3. It's a really terrible video, but skip ahead to the 1-minute mark to see where the IR cutoff filter is in the Hero3.
did you see what FLIR has out now SteveMann ? (see link in my post . .thats what Im referring too)
Isn't it illegal to fly at night ??
Yes, you can. But, here's the caveats...
The IR emitters on it are tiny and few. You will gain some "night vision" but probably only 30' usable. Keep in mind, at "full tilt", a Phantom 2 will do over 45 feet a SECOND. Fly carefully.
That "Y block" holds a voltage regulator. Do NOT cut the wires before there unless your intent is (a) to fry the camera electronics instantly, or (b) to wire an appropriate voltage regulator into the wires
The wiring *after* the Y-Block might be enameled "bare" wires. Know how to work with them. You will need to burn off the enamel. You also *should* solder the connections. If you do not burn off all the enamel, the camera will experience video and power issues.
Other than that, it is very straightforward wiring. Power to copter power, video to FPV. And of course the power wires for the FPV. Our rear FPV is done similarly.
The FLIR1 is a IR thermal detector that uses the iPhone for the display. I've seen FLIR in the cockpit in demo videos, but never in any airplane I flew. But the demo was amazing and you could fly virtually VFR in any obscured landing environment.
No doubt about it, FLIR on a drone would be really good for night flight. If a lightweight FLIR detector ever became available I can bet the people who fly drones for Search and Rescue or firefighting support would love to get one.
There is a difference from IR Thermal and IR Image detectors. IR Image detectors are basically a CCD camera minus the IR cutoff filter, which is what the OP was referring to.
The camera the OP linked to is probably a surveillance camera. You can try it, but I think you would be disappointed in the limitations of it. I have one on my garage with similar specs, and I can barely make out a car at 60 ft, let alone a person. Its usable range is more like 20 ft.