Skydio Customized Thermal Payload for X10

Skydio’s X10 drone showcases the best in sensor technology.  At the Ascend conference and launch event on September 20, CEO Adam Bry demonstrated the zoom and clarity available – unique on a drone of the X10’s size and weight.  Now, the US-based manufacturer explains their customized Teledyne FLIR Boson+ thermal camera module.

Teledyne FLIR is the leading global manufacturer of thermal imaging sensors, and Skydio’s custom thermal payload for the X10 leverages the “Thermal by FLIR” program to create what the company calls “the most sensitive uncooled thermal drone payload” available.

The “Thermal by FLIR” program is a cooperative product development and marketing program, allowing manufacturers to integrate Teledyne FLIR thermal camera modules into products.  The Skydio X10’s thermal payload is a customized radiometric Boson+ thermal camera module, “providing unmatched thermal performance and improvements in size, weight, and power (SWaP), critical for inspections, situational awareness, and search and rescue missions.”

“The Thermal by FLIR program is designed to help our customers innovate and create applications and capabilities that don’t yet exist,” said Dan Walker, vice president, product development, Teledyne FLIR. “For the Boson+ collaboration with Skydio, we’re proud of what we’ve accomplished together. Skydio customers will soon have access to the most effective uncrewed thermal imaging capabilities ever created for a drone of this size and mission.”

Skydio customers represent the critical industries that our core civilization runs on, such as public safety, energy utilities, and defense, who need highly accurate data to make timely decisions that benefit us all. This requires high-definition thermal imagery in a SWaP-optimized package,” said Abe Bachrach, chief technology officer, Skydio. “That is why we chose to integrate the Teledyne FLIR Boson+ thermal camera module within the Skydio X10 platform, as it provides the right mix of performance and features required for pilots to complete the mission.”

Thermal Performance and SWaP Enhancements

The US-manufactured Boson+ offers thermal resolution of 640 X 512, a 4X improvement over the payload on the Skydio X2, and “doubles the thermal sensitivity of competitive payloads at 30 millikelvin (mK) or better,” says Skydio.  “It is the most sensitive commercially available uncooled longwave infrared (LWIR) camera module for drones.”

SWaP – Size, Weight, and Power – is critical for the drone industry, where improvements in size can equal major improvements in flight time.  Teledyne FLIR and Skydio have also developed custom optics, reducing the weight of a standard Boson+ camera optics by 48% – allowing the X10 to offer the combination of flight endurance and superior sensor.

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Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry.  Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam.


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