An instructor at Northland Community and Technical College specializing in remotely piloted aerial systems began, with student assistance, one of the first drone thermal-imaging programs in the country. Drone thermal imaging uses infrared cameras to take pictures of buildings and convert them into thermograms or images that show the heat levels of different areas of the picture. Using a number of aerial photos to create a three-dimensional model shows where a building is losing heat. This allows owners to see energy loss and pinpoint where energy efficiency measures can be taken.
The instructor is working with students to develop thermal images of the 700 buildings in the small farming town of Warren, MN. For more information and examples of where this technology is being used to improve energy efficiency, see the article by the Institute for Local Self Reliance (ILSR).