Pedestrian detection (PD) is an important application domain in computer vision and pattern recognition. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) have become a major field of research in recent years. In this paper, an algorithm for a robust pedestrian detection method based on the combination of the infrared HOG (IR-HOG) feature and SVM is proposed for highly complex outdoor scenarios on the basis of airborne IR image sequences from UAV. The basic flow of our application operation is as follows. Firstly, the thermal infrared imager (TAU2-336), which was installed on our Outdoor Autonomous Searching (OAS) UAV, is used for taking pictures of the designated outdoor area. Secondly, image sequences collecting and processing were accomplished by using high-performance embedded system with Samsung ODROID-XU4 and Ubuntu as the core and operating system respectively, and IR-HOG features were extracted. Finally, the SVM is used to train the pedestrian classifier. Experiment show that, our method shows promising results under complex conditions including strong noise corruption, partial occlusion etc.