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Agricultural Opportunities

Discussion in 'Agriculture' started by Karma, Sep 22, 2016.

  1. Karma

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    image.png image.png I thought I would start a thread on agricultural opportunities for drone pilots to share my experiences and hopefully the knowledge of many others. Feel free to post what drone, camera, data processor etc. that you have used.

    I used my Inspire 1 along with DroneDeploy yesterday to map a rural property that my family is considering purchasing. The map helped me determine elevation changes, the size of the pond, better understand options for potential crops, etc.

    I have also had a lot of interest in crop disease surveying. I am currently weighing the differences between NDVI or the XTR. Feel free to chime in if you have experience with either.
     
  2. Dr. Ifly Drones

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    I've done a limited amount of ag work using just optical sensors. I think what would be best and many of the pros in this area have built, are airframes that carry both HD optical and IR imagining systems and can record in tandem. The ability to superimpose the images and just the sheer amount of data would be ideal. Big deal would be on the back end post production side of editing and interpreting the data. I know there are software systems that do some of this but, I don't know of an integrated system that does it all.
     
  3. Juggernaught

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    I fly the Z3 for RGB and the SlantRange for my sensors. It is new and I am just getting use to it and trying to determine what altitude, speed, and overlap goes well with both cameras. I found that using dronedeploy - 150ft @ 16mph with 70% overlap works well with the Z3, but not so well with the SlantRange. It must have a narrower field as when I got back and ran it through different software it couldn't stitch and had gaps all over.

    Next up: Fly at 300' with the 70% and see how it turns out.
     
  4. Juggernaught

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    How are you charging your agriculture clients?
     
  5. Wingers

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    Juggernaught, how much were the SlantRange and which ones did you go for? Do you have any shots of the results?
     
  6. Juggernaught

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    So I purchased the 2p version for around $3,500. I haven't used Slantview, but to just upload the photos to my computer and process through other software I am trialing. I have 3 months of Slantview purchased, but won't turn it on until next spring. It is a learning curve on how to properly gather the gps data and correlate it with correct photo because it doesn't embed it like the X3, X5, or Z3. So it's a few extra steps to stitch together in Pix4d or Agisoft.

    I have been working with SlantRange's helpdesk on how to best utilize it with other software and they are very helpful and quick with responses, but stated that I was the only one that they knew of using other software with their camera. I will be interested to see how well their software works next spring! Right now Dronedeploy (DD) is in the lead for me, but it's expensive as well and if you have a slow connection it takes a while to upload all of the photos.

    Pix4d for NDVI etc is in 2nd place and Agisoft for 3D would be my go to.

    So unfortunately I can give you half an answer, but will need to wait until next spring to understand the full power of SlantRange, because according to their site you only need 20% overlap which is amazing! Although it only does that with their software. If you use DD you will still need the 70-80% overlap. If you want some more photos let me know!
     

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  7. Wingers

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    Thanks for all the info, really helpful. how much do you know about DD's use of RGB to give you plant health data. I assume it uses the reflected green light as an indication of light absorbance, but was wondering how accurate it is. Could be a cheaper solution short term?
    Thanks again
     
  8. Biz Minhard

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    Hello guys.
    I'm a farmer in Austraila and just brought a Matrice 100 I only have a X3 at this stage but looking to add a muiltspetical camera next year. I'm aiming to monitor my crops and also begin a side business with the aim of helping other farmers to help improve their crops while saving on input costs.
    Which brings me to my biggest issues I don't know which sensor or software to choice?
    The two sensors I'm looking at is the 2p slantrange and also the sequoia I'm not sure which is the best fit for me?
    For the software options I was looking at pix4D Ag but I don't think this works with slantrange sensor or does it?
    So I guess the sequoia and Pix4D Ag works well or do you guys have better options?
    Can I export the files into a geo tiff. Format as I need it with a different program I use with my local Argo?? With either Pix4D Ag or slantview or Alatas?
    Thanks guys for your time and hope to hear from you soon
    Kind regards
    Tarren.
     
  9. Chinglish

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    Hello Biz,
    I am also just starting with the Inpsire with X3 camera. I found the free Dronedeploy app quite useful for mapping.
    Then you can import the images into the Dronedeploy program (cloud based) or Agisoft (local installation). I am planning to convert my X3 to NDVI and buy a X5 for regular photo/video. I know converting is not the best option, but it is very affordable.

    I encountered some problems though with the settings of the X3 camera in Dronedeploy. I put camera settings in 'auto' in the DJI GO app and then fully close the app. I open the Dronedeploy app and also leave camera settings in 'auto'. Mostly all photo's will be too dark / underexposed when taken automatically with the Dronedeploy app. When I retry with the DJI GO app, exposure is correct again in 'auto' settings. Why does it do that, does the 'auto' setting not work ok with Dronedeploy?
     
  10. Biz Minhard

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    So Pix4D will work with the slantrange sensor? I was looking sequoia but ppl think it's not as good and have issues with it. So I think the slantrange will be my best option and as software updates occur it will be better than other sensors. I would like to get your thoughts on this?
    Thank you
     
  11. Skywolf007

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    Hi,

    in any case if you want to buy one of them get the sunshine sensor version. Its an absolute MUST have if you want to make correct measurments. I work with pix4d for quite some time, its a really great software, highly automated and very easy to use.

    I dont have slantrange - but they promise that you need only 20% overlap (compared to the 80% - industry standard) if you use their software. It sounds unbelievable, but it might be true. maybe too good to be true.

    You can export geotiff with pix4d, it does it automatically after you proces all the data. You might try agisoft photoscan, its a very good soft it can export to any format, but not that user friendly.

    Its too bad that there are not enought guys considering the usage of drones in agriculture. It has a future, and I'd love if we could get together and share our know-how.

    Csaba
     
  12. DStew

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    What a great thread - kudos to whomever started it. I am trying to identify the ideal NDVI camera for my Inspire 1. I will move to the Matrice very soon once I begin booking work in my local AG community. As far the NDVI camera choices for the Inspire, does one stand out? And is Drone Deploy as good as it looks? Cheers


    Sent from my iPad using InspirePilots
     
  13. Karma

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    I ordered my NIR camera from Aerial Media Pros, they even overnighted it for me. I am also considering the M100 but may swing to the Inspire 2 due to the new cameras.

    I have done about 25 ag maps through DroneDeploy in the past month and can tell you to not ever expect a perfect map. Fly high and increase your overlap to increase your chances of success. The images are just too similar to get perfect results. I have to say that despite the common mapping issues, DroneDeploy's support is excellent. A great deal of information is also available in their online tips and FAQ's. Feel free to send me a message if you have any questions.
     
  14. DStew

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    Fantastic.....I'm more the Aerial Media Pros site now. Cheers


    Sent from my iPad using InspirePilots
     
  15. Karma

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    I typically use FlyHighUSA for everything else. Ralph is a super guy and always helpful.


    Sent from my iPhone using InspirePilots
     
  16. CaptainBadge

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    We have the AMP X3 NDVI camera for sale if anyone is interested. We have moved on and it does not see any use any more. Mint. $1000
     
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  17. Wingers

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    guys, can you just clarify what Biz said earlier, SlantRange works with Pix4D? Will it work with DroneDeploy? Currently looking at modding an X3 to NDVI, but might be able to swing for the SlantRange p2 if i don't have to fork out for the $4000+ per year licence fee too! Any help appreciated.
     
  18. CaptainBadge

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    No. Pix4d and DD need at least a 70/70 overlap for a serious chance at stitching. Slantrange has a proprietary way of processing their data.
     
  19. Wingers

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    Thanks Cptn, it's me again! .... Ross :)
     
  20. Karma

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    I just wanted to give an update to this thread. I found great success targeting seed producers this year. The work was short-term, mainly just prior to harvest, but the market is there. The profit per acre isn't quite high enough on the individual farmer level.


    Sent from my iPhone using InspirePilots