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Thread: Palette selection for animal surveillance

  1. #1

    Palette selection for animal surveillance

    People have been asking about using thermal cameras to do surveillance of animals up trees during logging operations as a way to make sure that they aren't doing any damage to the wildlife in these areas. It sounds like a great idea, and thermal imagery definitely has a good place in spotting wildlife, but incorrect ranging and palette selection can be detrimental to proper identification.

    Here are a series of images of the same possum, with different palette selections.

    Image 1 is a simple rainbow palette with auto-scaling:
    Name:  Thermal Possum 1.PNG
Views: 720
Size:  107.4 KB
    Image 2 is slightly reduced scaling in Greyscale HC (black and white with red as a high wash colour):
    Name:  Thermal Possum 2.PNG
Views: 677
Size:  102.3 KB
    Image 3 is drastically narrowed Greyscale HC
    Name:  Thermal Possum 3.PNG
Views: 649
Size:  16.3 KB
    Image 4 is a wide Greyscale (not HC) with green used as an isotherm colour for anything between 21 and 34C
    Name:  Thermal Possum 4.jpg
Views: 686
Size:  94.4 KB

    As you can see, palette selection gives you quite different results. I would be most happy with either image 2 or image 4, but if I needed to do quick scan and investigate jobs I would move towards a scale like that in image 3.

    The images also show the difficulty of good identification of animals at a distance. The only spots on the animals that are significantly different in temperature to the environment around them are their eyes, nose and limb extremities. These would be quite small targets to try to spot at 40-50m away, up a tree canopy obscured by leaves, so I would recommend making sure that your equipment is up to the task before attempting to use thermal imaging as part of a wildlife protection program.

  2. #2
    Nice pic Richard. I also found grayscale best for locating a possum 10-15 mtrs up our elm tree.

  3. #3
    PS did the "MOP TOP" survive the possum pruning. They love my chillies!!

  4. #4
    That Greyscale HC with the red wash colour is my favourite I think, but it only works best with a manual scale. I'd be more inclined to use an isotherm than the Greyscale HC where possible, but not all cameras have an isotherm option so in those cases you can go with the HC.

    Yes the wee guys tend to get a bit greedy around the fruit! However, Using thermal technology to spot for wildlife up trees before lopping them down is a fantastic use of the technology, and makes the work faster for all involved whilst keeping Koalas and possums from taking a nasty fall. Win / win for the animals and the people!

  5. #5
    Nice. What camera was used for these images?

  6. #6
    The camera was an IPI-R9. 384 x 288 pixel detector, 80mK sensitivity. It's predominantly used as an electrical PM unit but it did a great job of showing off it's flexibility here, the focus mechanism on the camera is easy to use and gives you some nice distance up the trees.

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