Small UAV with Near InfraRed Camera and GPS (Autopilot)

Hi everyone

I am new to this site but better late than never:)

I like to use a small uav that is equipped with a near infrared camera to take images of various crops showing stressed vs non stressed vegetation (Infrared is good for this purpose). The camera I found is only 7 onces (about 200 g) and it calls for GPS intput to be a true +/-RS232. Additionally, I would like my UAV to be independent in term of missions so that a minimum work is required in the field...Ideally, I would like it to fly itself; so that I can make a file (GPX or shapefile) that shows the exact location of the field/ground where the picture will need to be taken. My last concern is about the stability of the drone/uav and whether images taken with this uav would be clear enough to distinguish between stressed and non stressed crops. Field size I am looking to use it for is 100 acres. By writing my thoughts here, I am hoping that someone in this forum has done something similar and I would very much appreciate the advise...Otherwise, do you guys think I can custom make such a UAV... or does it require advanced skills...

Thanks and Happy New Year


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To me it looks like the processing of all the images taken is showing the so called pixel issue because there is "movement" in the photos. And when you process all that is shows up like that. All you have to do is zoom in on the truck or car in the photo and you can clearly see the movement with doors and such. I have seen much cleaner sx260 ortho's and we have seen worse too. I had that look you are showing as an example when the plane was running to fast and the shutter speed was set to low.

Hi John,

I think visible defects on the car and 4x4 are due to post processing (no or very little correlation points). These shots were made at very low speed (3m / s) and a 1/800s shutter speed. I think the SX260 is a bit limited for aerial photography (of course, it all depends on what you want to do).

We think acquire sony NEX7 multispectral that fits much better in terms of picture quality. In addition, the NEX7 offers a range of interesting lens.

Nex 7 is great but I would go Panasonic g2 or g3 (preference) but the thing is these are heavier setups. As you should know once you get into serious IR stuff point and shoots go away and you need a real IR cam for the work and nothing really is going to come close to that.   Anyhow we do this on the side I own a professional production company and mainly do H.D. Video and Photography. Nikon and Panasonic is our go to gear and will always be that way for video and photo.

Below is a very honest and concise review on every aspect of the SX260HS I thought I would just toss that in for people interested.

For those owning a sx260, how fast can it shoot in continuous mode? I mean how long does it take from taking one picture to the next one?

I have bougth a Canon Ixus 140 (16Mpx) and the speed between shoots is sooo slow (3secs)...


4secs for the SX260 with chdk...!!

Ups.... It's huge!
I would like fast shooting as I could zoom in while doing lots more shoots for the same area. This way it should be possible to get better cm/pixel resolution with the same mission

Speed: Continuous Shooting: Normal: 2.4 shots/sec. in P mode, 10.3 shots/sec. in High-speed Burst HQ mode

In photography you get what you pay for. Point and shoots are cheap period. Buy a DSLR that can shoot 10FPS but then you will spend a thousands on just a body.  The problem I always see is hobbyists trying to make something consumer grade into professional grade and it will never happy. You have to make up a happy medium of you are not willing to spend the money on professional products. Now I am not knocking you for wanting the best bang for your buck.  But, there is a line that you can only get so close to if you get my meaning.

If you don't like the speed at which your camera takes photos you can slow down your plane to compensate for that. And you always interweave the shots anyhow so you can stitch them together better.

And the sx260 is 2.4 shots/sec in P mode.

As I explained above, the multispectral SX260 is a bit limited to work professionally but we find that the results are close to being professional that's why we think to modifie a SONY NEX7. However, we prefer to work with a SX260 rather than a professional camera like Tetracam ADC-lite (4000 euros?)! I am therefore not quite agree with you John.

I think both of you are right

But for sure the Nex5 or 7 is the way to go

I found this about manually removing the IR filter of a Nex5

Hi Jesus,

thank you for the link but it's a real suicide! (laughter)

NIR camera is useful, but I think the top is a  NIR-R-G camera.

Our NIR NEX5 is powerful and we are very satisfied but now, we want to work with NIR-R-G NEX7. Combining the channels is much more practical and effective in post processing.

Is it possible to have NIR-R-G in a single camera? I though it was not possible

The theory says that is the red channel in the bayer filter the one that has IR sensitivity and thus when you remove the IR filter, all that IR light goes or is processed in the red channel

That is why you should remove the IR filter and add a Red rejection filter in order to keep just IR in the red channel

Can you tell us how you plan to have NIR-R-G??? I am very interested

BTW I think it is not a suicide!!! 

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