Thermography is increasingly being adopted for industrial inspection and this is usually ground based.
Whilst it has been possible to carry out aerial thermography, historically this has been with the use of manned aircraft, and therefore very expensive.
Industries with high cost down-time such as process industries can benefit by better understanding their thermal 'signature', and routinely monitoring it to look for change, in order to avoid unplanned down-time.
External surfaces with poor or damaged insulation will have corresponding variations in external temperature, which can be seen on a thermal image.
Capturing high quality normal (RGB) images simultaneous to the thermal images, allows detailed after-flight review of the data and specific and targeted repairs to be planned. This is very relevant for roofs where heat loss is significant, and repairs expensive.
Understanding and surveying in the correct environmental conditions is essential in achieving credible thermal data.
Fluids such as water have a relatively high specific heat capacity - They take longer to heat up or cool down when compared to their surroundings.
This in turn produces temperature variations where fluids are present - Especially where they shouldn't be!
These variations show up clearly in a thermal image providing the image is captured in the correct circumstances (e.g. time of day), in turn allowing the extent and source of the leak to be identified.
Solar (PV) Panel Survey
Aerial Thermography is a very efficient means to identify anomalies in solar panel and electrical installations. Areas of higher resistance stand out clearly and provide specific locations for further follow-up ground based inspection.
Higher resistance is indicative of reduced panel power output, corresponding loss if electricity generation, and potential early life failure. This can be for a variety of reasons - From dirty panels, to installation errors and panel manufacturing issues.