Hi, I'm looking for ready to go UAV to help in our business. We need to monitor large areas of agricultural land in Africa. Idealy we need a system that is very easy to operate, that can take photos and stich them together so we can show farmers what is going on in their fields. I have looked at Cropcam but think it is a bit weak for our conditions, and also am struggling to get a meaningful response from them. Our budget is around the $30 000 mark for a complete system that we can use as a meaningful business tool. Please help, I am an absolute beginer to all things UAV and radio controlled.

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Cropcam has no customer service. We tried getting ahold of them and the person who answered didn't even know what company we were trying to get ahold of.
We have an agricultural UAV in development in Poland
and we would like to tune our project to the needs of the people like you.

How would you define the task:
-payload (500g camera?)
-desired resolution (in m or cm?)
-infrared or visible (IR recommended)?
-who has to do the georeferencing?
-typical size of the field?
-typical terrain for landing?
-amount of job per day?
-possibility to recharge and reorganise overnight in comfortable room or multi-day trip in a truck?
-presence of skilled manual RC operator in each team excluded (fully automatic takeoff and landing?)?
-the speed of weather change: what speed of wind expect if the weather worsens suddenly inflight?
-typical operating temperatures and humidity (equatorial or saharan)?
-can you accept getting rid of realtime ground control station
as long as the device does the trip autonomously relative to takeoff position?
-do you need realtime video (not recommended)?
-time schedule (ASAP or As Soon As Yesterday I guess)?

What startegy do you prefer:
grab as much data as it gets in minimal amount of time than analyse in clean room, distribute mornings or overnight,
or perform all task at the field.


Thank you for any feedback.
Hi Krzystof

Thanks for response. I will try to answer what I can.
We are in Agric. development and consultancy business and our clients are mostly sugar cane estates with an average size of about 12 000 ha. field size is on average 16-18 ha, with fields mostly square in shape 450m x 450m. There are also many center pivot systems which are on average 50 ha and obviously round in shape.
I would like to be able to cover this kind of area in a week, if posible

We would like to be able to present the clients with aerial photos of their estates to use as part of our consulting services, and to use for training puposes of our clients staff. Yield prediction, disease monitoring, irrigation problems, weed infestation, etc are all things we would be looking for. We would like to be able to stitch the images together, and present them on a GIS platform on which we can overlay yield, fertilizer application, and other inputs.

The ability to mount multispectral cameras such as the Tetracam ADC air, so as to get NDVI images would also be something we want to offer to our clients. I think the Tetracam weighs about 630 grams, but that they also have lighter version. check out their website for more info. We would also consider other cameras that can do the same job but simply aren't aware of what is on the market.

Conditions are rough where we opperate and landing might have to take place on gravel roads in the sugar cane.

In terms of georeferencing, I'm not that clued up but we have a team of surveyors that use trimble GPS systems. I am sure they could assist in some cases, but essentially all we really need is to get a fairly rough idea of where problems are in field. accuracy of within 2-4m would acceptable.

weather is luckily quite good, and predictable where we opperate. we could fly on average 5 days a week with wind of less than 12 kts. temperature is as high as 40 C in mid summer with fairly high humidity, I am guessing about 80% but on average much lower. winter does not get below 12 C. I guess we are in a tropical environment.
I am a kitesurfer and a hang glider pilot so am quite weather aware. If a wind comes through suddenly it is around 25 to 30 kts. Thermals could be a problem in summer. I have hit lift of up to 8m/sec on my hang glider but this is unusual. normal thermal strength would be about 4m/sec

We do not have any RC experience but I'm sure we could learn if need be.

I would like to something opperational by the end of September this year.

I think we would preffer a strategy of get as much data as possible and analyse later.

I think we could probably do without realtime ground control as fields are fairly boring. It would be nice to have though but probably not essential

I am sure this is going to be a massive learning process for us, and essentially we are looking for a supplier that will grow with us as new needs become apparent. We opperate in many countries in Africa and will depending on the success of the project will more than likely be requiring several units opperating in the various regions we do business in. I would guess probably 5 within 2 years.

Thank you for your interest, I hope this information is leads to something
Kind regards

Ross Walters
Agric Development Manager
Tel: +27 82 561 5055
mail: rossbw@eastcoast.co.za
website: www.agricane.com
UAV Stardust with Tetracam ADC


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