Infrared Drones are making headlines every day. Here at our facility in the HUBZone of Apopka, Florida, we of ER Precision Optics do not manufacture drones.
However, we do manufacture IR optical blanks. IR (Infrared) lenses can give drones superpowers. IR is responsible for the jaw-dropping, eye-popping capabilities we will introduce in this blog article. And be aware we can barely skim the surface of this new technology, for drones of many kinds are becoming humanity’s ministers of war and peace.
Infrared Drones Monitor War and Peace
Lately, we can barely glance at the television without seeing footage shot by drones. And drones with IR can see in the dark.
Thus, we thought the fascinating topic of drones equipped with infrared would make interesting reading. This is especially true if you enjoyed reading our earlier article on the amazing Switchblade drones. Or if you follow the daily drone footage from the war in the Ukraine.
A Little Backstory on Drones and Modern Warfare
To put it plainly, “Modern drones are used by militaries for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, or, in general, scouting.”
Military or law enforcement drones fitted with IR as well as regular cameras have super scouting power. For instance, they can spot people or vehicles with precision vision, day, or night.
By extension, an armed drone can attack the target it discovers. Another example is the case of the Switchblades from our earlier blog article.
The Law Takes a New White Hat: Coming Soon to Your Town
In peacetime usage, drones with IR can assist the long arm of the law. To our amusement, we recently read, “A new sheriff is in town. And he isn’t riding a horse. He is your “eyes in the sky.” And he is most often called a drone.”
The name for this peace-keeping drone is not near as threatening as the warrior-style Switchblade. Known as UAVs, these IR-equipped drones are the new darlings of “over 200 local law enforcement departments…”
That article is over 2 years old now, so we are sure many more law enforcement departments and communities have bought these amazing tools.
The Many Hats Worn by IR Drones
Your city might already be using the superpower of UAV technology in many ways.
- You might have seen them at your local airport, providing surveillance.
- They also support rescue operations.
- Police use IR drones in Hostage and active shooter support situations.
- Of course, we know that drones, infrared or not, are masters of air-dropping supplies.
- Both accident and Outdoor crime photography get a boost from these UAVs.
- And of course, they are heroes on Outdoor bomb calls.
- In general, UAVs lend support to all SWAT situations.
Infrared Technology Saves Lives
The protection offered by infrared technology is not new. Experts have stated, “Since WWII, NVGs and advanced weapon sights have protected soldiers and prevented friendly fire casualties.”
Police departments recognized the value of regular drones at once. IR is a plus and levels up the game against crime. “Now, IR technology is cheaper. This allows police departments to beef up drones with IR devices.”
Both on the ground and in the sky, thermal cameras enhance the protection and efficacy of police operations. And experts state, “…for aerial operations, a thermal camera on a drone is mind-blowingly valuable.”
You Cannot Hide from Thermal Eyes in the Skies
To put it simply, IR drones can detect any heat source on the ground. You have seen the effect in television shows, if not in real life. “ People, animals, and vehicles give off this invisible heat energy. This heat energy looks “white hot” or grey to the camera.”
What Happens When the IR Drone Sees the Target?
On the camera screen, the police operator or the soldier not only sees the suspect or the military enemy, but also the action it takes. So, the camera picture depicts a white-hot figure or figures as they flee. It’s simple. Criminals or enemies can run, hide, or climb, but they can’t escape the all-seeing IR eyes of the IR drone. They can’t hide their heat signature.
Journalism Vs. Propaganda: A New Drone Superpower
Thus, we see how both military and law enforcement are receiving help from the superpower of IR drones. Likewise, IR drones can give us a photojournalistic view of war.
However, we must be aware that our enemies can twist IR drone footage into propaganda. For example, we realize people outside the US might be seeing quite a different picture of the war in Ukraine.
You see, drones cannot capture the entire battlefield, only pieces of it. Therefore, we more than suspect that our enemies exaggerate their wartime prowess with IR drone footage. “Drone footage can shape public perception of military power and precision.”
Finally, we see that any scout, from the journalist with a pen to the drone with IR technology, can be a force for truth and freedom—or not.