It's always a pleasure to work with our friends in public safety: most especially the men and women of Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue, who serve the community where I live. That's right – when I finally succeed in setting my home ablaze in a LiPo fire, these are the folks who are going to show up and douse the flames.
And, of course, it's always fun to participate in a “burn-to-learn,” when real flames consume an actual structure as part of a training exercise. It's absolutely inevitable that we're going to come away with some spectacular imagery.
In this case, the photo of Raven silhouetted against the wall of fire that I used to create the thumbnail for this video was taken by Chris Hamilton with TVF&R's public information unit, who was gracious enough to share this image with us.
It's such a dramatic image that I've used it several times, including an article about this event in Model Aviation, PowerPoint slides for various talks I've given related to public safety and thermal imaging – and even to this day it graces the desktop of my own computer.
So, my thanks to Chris and everyone else at the department, and also to our friends at FLIR, who provided us with the hardware to conduct this demonstration. The camera you see in this video is a Tau2 640, which is the core the company uses in its drone-specific Vue series of cameras – so a good example of the Vue's capabilities, albeit we had to rig up an external DVR because the Tau2 doesn't incorporate ability to record internally.
Why such primitive hardware? Because, this event took place before the Vue had yet been conceived of at FLIR. That's right – you just watched another one of the “lost episodes” of the Roswell Flight Test Crew – this one dating back more than two years, to the summer of 2014.