Guest publish by Colin Snow
I’ve been researching and writing about agriculture drone options since early 2012. I lately got here throughout this OpEd in PrecisionAg titled “Opinion: The Agricultural Drone War Is Over, And They Lost” and browse it with nice curiosity. Two and half years in the past, our analysis indicated the identical factor—that small drones may not be capable of ship extra usable information to a farmer or present a price profit over the prevailing picture options accessible to them.
Even final yr I had my doubts. In our June 2016 report, The Truth about Drones in Precision Agriculture, we checked out how drones have been used as distant sensing gadgets in agriculture so far, reviewed aggressive and conventional approaches utilizing incumbent know-how (like satellites and manned plane), and mentioned the alternatives and challenges posed by the know-how itself.
But lots has modified since then. Agriculture drones have matured, and so have the sensors and analytical options that assist them. A rising variety of software program distributors are concentrating on the agriculture house with more and more helpful options. And a brand new technology of drones is delivering a lot wanted performance.
Not all agriculture drone options are created equal, so it pays to do a little bit of analysis earlier than committing. There are many elements to contemplate, from software program compatibility to cost to technical capabilities equivalent to:
- Can you get all of the elements—drone, sensor, software program, and analytics—from one firm?
- Is an web connection required with the intention to course of information?
- Will it combine effectively together with your current instruments?
The analysis course of to search out the perfect answer could be overwhelming and time consuming, however there is some excellent news. We’ve carried out a good quantity of this work already which you’ll be able to entry in our newest report, Using Drones to Ensure ROI in Precision Agriculture. You’ll additionally discover a guidelines there that can assist you decide which answer is the perfect match. Here is an excerpt:
Nearly all agriculture drone options course of RGB colour, close to infrared (NIR), and normalized distinction vegetation index (NDVI) information. But not all options present further analytics and instruments higher matched to the wants of growers and agronomists. For instance, just one answer we all know of out there permits customers to view dwell NDVI information by way of streaming video whereas the drone is flying with out an web connection. This means you’ll be able to extra simply fly missions and see crucial info on the subject’s edge with out requiring a visit again to the workplace. This eliminates an enormous bottleneck. Most options require that you simply add photographs from the UAV to a cell gadget, a laptop computer or cloud service the place they’re stitched collectively to create a base map and the underlying spectrum information is processed right into a usable NDVI layer. In most options, you need to look ahead to that info—typically for hours. But with this answer you don’t have to try this, and the additional benefit is you need to use the time financial savings to assemble further inputs from the areas the real-time map reveals as suspect.
The report goes on to element the next:
- The significance of well timed inputs
- New analytics and instruments
- The significance of an built-in answer—sensor, drone, and analytic information platform
- The challenges of understanding ROI
- The advantages of end-to-end options
You can get the report, plus an End-to-End UAV Solution Checklist for Precision Agriculture, right here.
Look for an additional report from us on this matter quickly. If you could have questions on info within the report or want to touch upon it after studying, write me at [email protected].