The use of drones has almost exploded almost in the last five years in Finland. The utilization of drones has increased and more and more applications have emerged. In addition to video cameras, thermal cameras and hyperspectral cameras have been used as well as their combinations. The use of thermography has been more qualitative, as in case of thermography in general when devices became more common and the prices lowered. The progress of optical measurement devices and image processing software will give more and more opportunities for R&D. It is essential to convert data obtained from a given object to information that is beneficial to the parties - the question is about the interpretation of the images and also how to combine the information from different wavelengths. This will require knowledge of the phenomenon or subject and factors affecting it. Drones provide better opportunities to observe large areas. The most important result should be, anyway, to increase information about the subject. In this presentation some applications will be introduced: Visible video and thermography in built environment evaluation, surveillance, firefighting and thermography and hyperspectral in agriculture. The possible future applications will be will be evaluated. Dealing with building thermography, drones give better possibilities to scan the whole building and especially looking at the top floors and especially the roofs. The structures be known in advance and several measurements are often required under different conditions. In surveillance, people have been searched by thermography for a long time, but drones can be used more effectively than in case of airplanes or helicopters. Interesting application is thermography combined with hyperspectral scanning in agriculture. Scheduled methods, processes and routines are needed.
The certification procedure for building thermographers in Finland was launched 2003. After 14 years training courses the interpretation and reporting procedures have been renewed and modernized, also the new requirements have been now accepted for building thermographers. The normal procedure of building thermography is two-stage thermography in connection of air-tightness test and now first time there was a pilot course combining the air-tightness and building thermography certification. In this presentation some updated requirements for building thermographers are introduced, also typical deficiencies and errors what the thermographers do.
Because European Union`s Energy Performance of Buildings Directive came into the force in the member states, it caused lot of changes in Building Codes in Finland, and now the role of building codes will be changed, too. This has caused the generalization of building thermography during the last 10-15 years, and this development also raised the certification of building thermographers.
Aerial thermography using drones has grown rapidly. Other wavelengths can be combined with thermography, like hyperspectral imaging and of course normal visual imaging. There are no guidelines dealing with the use of drones and aerial thermography for various applications. This paper also briefly discusses the challenges of drones based on Finnish experiences.