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Ocean Alliance uses FLIR Thermal in Whale Research

Jul 20, 2017

FLIR Thermal technology allows researchers to collect data without harming or disturbing whales in their natural habitat.

The Massachusetts-based Ocean Alliance recently has been using a unique and innovative thermal imaging-equipped research drone. The drone essentially collects whale blow or better known as, snot, which has earned its name the ‘SnotBot’.  This modified DJI Inspired drone is equipped with a FLIR Vue Pro thermal imagining camera; which is flown into the blow from whales to collect samples. The SnotBot that is collected from the whale blow contains traces of DNA, micro biomes, pregnancy hormones, and stress hormones. Thus, inevitably helps researchers’ gain greater understanding of these massive mammals.

With the Vue Pro on the aircraft, researchers are able to spot hot spots on the whales’ bodies and observe how the whales bring cool water to the surface by their tail flukes whilst they swim.

Ocean Alliance Uses FLIR Thermal in Whale Research

FLIR means Forward Looking Infra-Red and FLIR are the world leaders in night vision cameras. Ocean Alliance wanted to know what sort of whale perspective they could get using a FLIR camera mounted on SnotBot. Using small drones that are equipped with a thermal and visible camera allows Ocean Alliance researchers to collect data without harming or disturbing the animals that are in their natural habitat.

The FLIR camera has been mounted behind a regular camera to give real time comparative images between regular and night vision. When a whale blew the blowholes looked like two bright eyes appearing in the night and winking off.

FLIR Systems are amongst the exhibiting companies featured at the Security Exhibition & Conference.

Story Credit: FLIR

Source: http://www.flir.com/home/news/details/?ID=85199 (Ocean Alliance Uses FLIR Thermal in Whale Reserach)

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