I'm looking for some advice in getting started with a UAV for aerial photography (either an ArduCopter or an Arduplane)


Anyways, I'm interested in using a drone to take aerial photos of agricultural fields.  Initially I'd like to start with a standard point and shoot camera capturing "normal" (visible spectrum photos).  Eventually, I'd like to use a two-camera setup to capture visible spectrum and infrared photos simultaneously to allow NDVI to be calculated.


I'd like to be able to program the drone to fly a pattern back and forth across each field, snapping photos at pre-defined waypoints.  The fields that I'd like to capture images of range in size from a quarter section (1/2 mile by 1/2 mile square, or 0.8 km by 0.8 km in metric) up to a full section (1 mile by 1 mile square, or 1.6 km by 1.6 km).


Would a 3D Robotics Quadcopter kit be suitable for doing this?  Or would the Hexacopter allow for more speed/range?  Or is a plane the way to go for capturing photos of larger areas?


How fast can the quad/hexacopter fly? How high? And in how much wind?  How about the Arduplane?


How long can it fly on one charge?  What size/type of batteries do I need?


What is the range of the radio transmitter used to link the computer and drone?  Does the drone need to be in constant communication with the computer, or are the waypoints loaded into it and it does its own thing?


Do I need a "manual" transmitter/controller as well as the computer?


Are there any good tutorials you could point me to for setting up a camera to take photos at pre-defined waypoints?  Any recommendations for photo-stitching software?  Anything else you think will help me out?


Thanks in advance for the help!

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I'm in the same boat . But at a much larger scale  (2000 acres on down ). One of things you got to worry about is fumes if you go the gas power plane or helicopter ( lenses) . Hexacopter doesn't seem to have much flight time . A octocopter might be better .  Also , jitter from the RC plane or helicopter is a concern  . Flight time seems to be limited if you go the battery route . 15 minutes seems to be the limit that i found . If you go to a multispectrum camera you must get some attitude to do this . Still looking  into this . A two camera set up would be a helicopter . Look at bergan helicopter based in Michigan . Have look in to crop scouting as starting point ?

Hi Darren, if you want, I would give you some "consulting" regarding this issue, free of charge. Just PM me.

Hello all,

Can any body tell me the difference between the two Octos?

The HiModel claims to be specifically made for Aerial Photography with a higher price tag than Black Star that claims to be designed for high grade FPV.

Does it really make any difference in performance and the ease of installing camera gimbals and servos for a professional Aerial Photography? 

I am new to UAV and will have to pay high for a Wookong flight controller as I lack the coding skills for an APM. Plus a more stable and accurate GPS in the Wooking should serve the purpose for accurate environmental mapping.

Now why is there a 200 dollars difference between two Octos both being made from carbon fibre but only one claims to serve a specific purposes. Is there any real difference?

Will appreciate the help!


Don't buy either..  Buy something that is made for the purpose you want like the planes at Event38

Or you can build your own.. This way, you know everything there is to know about it.. So any problems later on, you able to fix it in the field.. Last thing you want is a broken plane before your work is completed and no idea how to fix it.  Customers won't like that at all..

I'm building a plane for this exact purpose, see my build log.  I also created a custom version of Mission Planner specifically for crop mapping and automatically controlling the camera shutter rather than using a intervalometer script.

I'll also be starting another log soon where I'm building out a Skyhunter with dual camera setup..  Will start this weekend on it.

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