The Role of Infrared Thermal Imaging in Road Patrolling Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

  • Neha Sharma
  • A. S. Arora
  • Ajay Pal Singh
  • Jaspreet Singh


In the past few years, the tremendous growth in road network and vehicles has increased the road fatalities at a very alarming rate. Road patrolling is one of the prominent measures to reduce road fatalities. Generally, road patrolling has been done using manned ground vehicles whose performance is highly dependent on environmental conditions. With this in mind, an infrared (IR) thermal imaging-based technique to enhance the object’s detection in poor weather conditions is presented in this study. Moreover, it can be employed in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for road patrolling in unfavorable weather conditions including total darkness, fog, and heavy rain. The aim of this study is to automate the process of object detection which enhances road patrolling, where it can enforce the traffic safety compliances and provide automatic rescue call facilities in case of remote area fatalities. The proposed approach is comprised of three steps: (a) data acquisition, a dataset of 53 thermograms at various weather conditions has been created; (b) data processing, a thresholding method, morphological operations, and pseudo-coloring have been performed; and (c) results validation, compare the outcomes of proposed methodology with standard approaches. More specifically, the optimal temperature thresholding in conjunction with morphological operations automates the process of object detection, where the pseudo-coloring algorithm is introduced to convert the thermograms into RGB space which enhances the images for better visualization. Consequently, the proposed methodology shows a good accuracy of 83% for object detection in different weather conditions. The methodology can be used with UAVs which enables fast monitoring of recent accidents on remote locations as the clashing of vehicles raises the temperature. Besides, the issues and challenges faced in the thermal-based UAVs are also discussed.


Thermal imaging UAVs Night vision system Optimal temperature thresholding Pseudo-coloring 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Neha Sharma
    • 1
  • A. S. Arora
    • 2
  • Ajay Pal Singh
    • 1
  • Jaspreet Singh
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Electronics and Communication EngineeringSant Longowal Institute of Engineering & TechnologyLongowal, SangrurIndia
  2. 2.Department of Electrical & Instrumentation EngineeringSant Longowal Institute of Engineering & TechnologyLongowal, SangrurIndia

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