You're already probably thinking, "wow, what's the difference between all of these models and options?" We know that the UAS research, evaluation and purchasing process can be challenging. Fortunately, in 2021 we as an industry have many options to choose from. This week Autel Robotics has announced the release of the Autel EVO II Dual 640T here in the US and North America market. This model is not new to us, as it's the same EVO II Dual Model that Autel has been using in other markets and regions around the world. The US however, is special. We're always special. We now have the new EVO II Dual 640T and the EVO II Dual 640 to choose from. At the time of this article, we are the only region where both models of the EVO II Dual are available.
The Difference is not just the "T"
The "T" behind 640 stands for radiometric, as the thermal sensor on the EVO II Dual 640T is radiometric, but the fact that it's radiometric is not the only difference between these two crafts and purchase options. The thermal sensor core in the 640T model is not an American made FLIR Boson sensor core like the EVO II Dual has. This 640T sensor core is made by InfiRay, who is a Chinese thermal sensor core manufacturer.
County of Origin (COO)
In 2020, Autel announced its "Made in the USA" campaign to manufacturer and assemble the Autel EVO II Dual here in the US at its Bothell, WA headquarters. We must note that the proper tagline for that campaign is "Made in the USA with foreign and domestic parts." Autel must specific that they are using foreign and domestic parts because of the fact that their airframe does contain non-US made components. The original or "US version" of the Autel EVO II Dual 640 does have a COO of the United States, while the new 640T model has a China COO. This is important for industries and sectors that may either be funded through sources that prohibit purchases of non-US COO drone platforms.
The way the EVO II Dual 640T kit is configured is also different from the standard EVO II Dual 640 kit. The 640 kit comes with a US-made GPC custom foam case, a FoxFury EVO II Lighting Kit and a free 1-year subscription to Pix4Dreact. The 640T kit does not come with these add-ons which are about an $829 value.
Radiometric EVO II Dual: What For?
Ever since the release of the Autel EVO II Dual, our team has constantly been asked for a radiometric EVO II Dual camera sensor option. Radiometric thermal imaging technology allows for operators to measure and monitor real-time temperature data in a thermal image. Just about all of the use cases for radiometric thermal data are around inspections. These include solar inspections, electrical substations, roof inspections, and much more. Radiometric functionality provides drone operators the ability to analyze and interpret temperatures of individual pixels in an image either while inflight, or during post-flight analysis. From the analysis, reports can be prepared which delivery quantifiable results to the end user of the aerial data acquired.