FLIR Lepton + RPi + RPi Cameras


totally new to RPi, cameras etc.

Basically I have a project where I want to take video+thermal images and other environmental data over a certain time duration (minutes - one hour), store those on a (micro)-SD card, have everything connected to one ‘recording/interaction’ unit (RPi 4-B comes to mind) with some timing signal as a trigger for recording, and collect everything after my test is done.

My shopping list, based on what I think ‘gives me what I want’ includes:

  1. Raspberry Pi 4 - Model B (with enough memory needed to do the job)
  2. FLIR Lepton 3.5 or 2.5 (whichever gives me the higher temperature range +450C and resolution)
  3. PureThermal Mini Pro for the FLIR Lepton
  4. Raspberry Pi Camera Board v2 - 8 Megapixels
  5. Raspberry Pi Wide Angle Camera Module
  6. Raspberry Pi Sense HAT
  7. Connection cables for having the recording unit in one place, and cameras somewhere else (approx. 1m away)
  8. everything else I’ve missed (or that I’ve chosen in the wrong way) that I need to get the job done

My constraints are that I want to put this on a student test rocket, that the cameras are to be placed in a very specific location and have very little room for access etc.
And that I haven’t really worked with RPi+add-ons.
So ideally everything is ‘plug&play’, that I won’t run into troubles regarding start-up/writing+transmitting data/storage and anything else regarding having a stand-alone system that is there to store video/sens data on its own.

Thank you for your help.



Hi Neal,

Welcome to the forum!!

Unfortunately the setup you are looking for isnt that plug and play and will require a bit of programming and wrangling your project into a state that you want.

While the Leptons are amazing IR camera’s they’re a bit harder to setup than say Adafruits I2C Thermal camera (can read up to 300C and a resolution of 24x32 pixels), Sparkfun have a great guide on setting up the Lepton’s here: FLIR Lepton Hookup Guide - It would definitely be worth taking a look at the guide before jumping in! (We havent had the chance to tinker with the Lepton cameras).

Narrowing down what your project has to do exactly would be a good place to start!

  • What kind are you trying to measure and what temperatures are you expecting?
  • Do you have to record high resolutions?
  • What kind of G-forces will the rocket experience?
  • Are there any weight constraints?
  • Do the connection cables have to hold anything/experience any extreme effects such as heat, high forces etc?