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Drone Mapping of Thermal Images

About Drone Mapping

Drone mapping has revolutionized the way we capture and analyze data from the sky, offering a bird's-eye view that combines the convenience of remote operation with the precision of high-resolution imagery. At its core, drone mapping involves using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) equipped with cameras to collect a series of images over a specific area. These images are then stitched together using specialized software, such as Pix4D or OpenDroneMap (ODM), to create detailed maps and 3D models of the landscape.

When it comes to thermal imaging, drones equipped with thermal cameras open up a new dimension of mapping possibilities. However, processing and integrating thermal images into drone mapping software poses unique challenges. Unlike standard RGB imagery, thermal images require careful calibration and correction to accurately represent temperature variations, necessitating special treatment in both the collection and post-processing stages to ensure they can be effectively used for mapping purposes.

How IRT Cronista Enhances Your Workflow

IRT Cronista is an essential tool for processing thermal drone images. Here's how it streamlines your


  1. Efficiently organizes images on your computer.

  2. Converts images to a Radiometric TIFF format, compatible with mapping software, while preserving GPS data and calibrating image data for seamless stitching.

  3. Orthomosaics created from radiometric TIFFs in OpenDroneMap or in Pix4D retain temperature information, enabling further thermographic analysis.

Thermal images processing diagram

Converting Thermal Images to Radiometric TIFFs

To convert thermal images into Radiometric TIFFs, the Ultimate edition of IRT Cronista is required. Follow these steps for the conversion process:

  1. Navigate to the folder containing your original thermal images.

  2. Select the images you wish to convert. For a bulk selection, press Ctrl+A to select all images in the folder.

  3. Right-click on any selected image and choose "Export" from the context menu. This action opens the Export dialog.

  4. In the Export dialog, opt for "Place images in a subfolder" and designate a folder name, such as "Tiffs."

  5. Select "TIFF: Radiometric TIFF" from the export formats list.

  6. Click "Export" to begin the conversion.


After completion, the specified folder ("Tiffs") will house the images in Radiometric TIFF format, compatible with OpenDroneMap and Pix4D.

Pix4D Notes

  1. By integrating IRT Cronista, you gain the capability to process images from drones that are not directly supported by Pix4D.

  2. We recommend converting thermal images to Radiometric TIFFs using IRT Cronista, even for drones directly supported by Pix4D. This method produces better results, preserving temperature information in the orthomosaics.

  3.  For optimal processing outcomes, we recommend selecting a standard template. Do not use "Thermal Camera" or "ThermoMAP Camera" templates in the Processing Options Template settings.


The final orthomosaic TIFF image generated by Pix4D is located in the project folder, specifically within the 3_dsm_ortho/2_mosaic subfolder, ready for further analysis or integration into your projects.

Supported Drones and Thermal Cameras

IRT Cronista's compatibility is determined by the thermal camera attached to the drone. If IRT Cronista supports the thermal camera's image format, it can efficiently convert these images to Radiometric TIFFs. This flexibility allows for a wide range of aerial platforms, including drones and helicopters, to be utilized for capturing thermal images.

IRT Cronista supports all DJI drones equipped with thermal cameras, including but not limited to:

  • Zenmuse H20 N

  • Zenmuse H20 T

  • Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced M2EA

  • Mavic 3 Enterprise

  • Matrice 30 Series M30T

  • Zenmuse XT S

  • Zenmuse XT 2

Compatibility has been confirmed also with Autel Evo II Pro drones outfitted with the InfiRay thermal camera.

IRT Cronista with orthomosaic

To prepare orthomosaic on the screenshot above we used thermal images provided by RMUS.

Contact Us

Should you have any specialized requirements related to drone mapping, photogrammetry, or 3D reconstruction involving thermal imaging, please feel free to reach out to us.

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