Best use of UAV for potatos (and best UAV overall)

I've been researching agricultural UAV's overall but im looking for the best benefits on potatoes;

I want to divide this post on 4 different topics that i have not been able to find on any specific site:

1.- best UAV: I believe we do need to consider several aspects:

        - fly at least 100 acres per flight (around 50 hectares for us at any metric system country :P) (heli or winged?)

        - probably be able to flt 100 mt + heights (to be able to take the least possible pictures at the best possible resolution, remember we are making desitions on this info)

        - be Rough enough to withstand harsh conditions (will probably be landing on dirt and such)

        - automated UAV for ease of use.

2.- imagery: basically which camera should we use?

        - i keep working around 4 different cameras: an RGB combined with a NIR to make NDVI analysis... a Multispectral (which i understand does the same thing but with better red spectrums) thermal cameras and finally DIY modified cameras (like GoPros)

       - which camera would do the job? is it worth it working with a camera worth a couple thousend of USD??

3.- Post flight software: i keep going back to pix4d but i find it so expensive so i dont know if agisoft is enough? or maybe look at companies like agribotix for analysis?

4.- real life Use and benefits: i believe this would be the best topic of all: can we really monetize the agricultural UAVs?

          - pre sowing work

          - during crop analysis (i believe a frequent fly would give enough comparison to take desitions based on this images)

          - real life scenarios in which you have beneffited from flying a UAV over your fields :)

i hope this discussion is not so extense that we have to divide it on 4 different topics but please advise...

BTW english is not my first language so sorry if i am writing something wrong :)

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  • Hello! Has anyone done real tests of Vegetation Indices with Mapir 3 and its radiometric calibration panel?

    Thank you


    MarioSpeedwagon said:

    Hola Roberto,

    No tengo experiencia con Patatas específicamente, pero intentaré dar mi opinión sobre algunas cosas. 

    1. El "mejor" uav es en gran parte subjetivo, pero si confía en que sus demandas involucran 100acres o menos la mayor parte del tiempo, yo elegiría un multirotor. Prefiero el ala fija, pero eso SOLO es porque quiero mapear áreas más grandes. 

    Es difícil recomendarle una plataforma específica debido a las opciones, pero me gusta Ardupilot. Las plataformas Pixhawk como Iris, Y6, X8 o 3DR Solo podrán hacer lo que solicites.

    2. Si no tienes un presupuesto ajustado (y una vez más, no tener experiencia con las papas), obtendría el reenvío de Micrasense basado en escuchar comentarios de primera mano sobre su uso. 

    Si tienes un presupuesto ajustado, estoy muy contento con mi experiencia con la (s) cámara (s) MAPIR hasta el momento. Tienen opciones para configuraciones de cámara individual (NGB), así como NIR + RGB. Hay un poco de conversación en curso en este grupo sobre las capacidades de cada uno, pero me siento cómodo al decir que el mínimo absoluto que necesita para al menos comenzar es una sola cámara NIR, y MAPIR es la más barata que he encontrado. Trabajando para probar los resultados en comparación con mi S100 convertido. 

    3. Realmente me gusta Agribotix, pero nunca hubiera mirado su servicio si mi computadora pudiera manejar grandes trabajos. readytodrone también ofrece procesamiento de imágenes personalizado y he tenido grandes experiencias con Brenden. Definitivamente es capaz de hacer trabajo GIS más allá de 2d NDVI normal. Dronemapper es otro servicio no tan refinado como Agribotix, pero también tienen un buen CS.

    Me gusta Photoscan y lo he visto perfectamente en algunos vuelos casi inutilizables, pero estoy tratando de configurarlo con Pix4D. Espero que me permita procesar trabajos un poco más grandes yo mismo.

    4. Ese es un tema en curso, señor. ;) 

    Best use of UAV for potatos (and best UAV overall)
    I've been researching agricultural UAV's overall but im looking for the best benefits on potatoes; I want to divide this post on 4 different topics…
  • Nice photo Julio, what are you watching for on that photo?

    I have a f61 waiting it it box yet, I'm thinking how to attach the camera not to have lens damage when I land, how you resolved it?, I'm flying an Skywalker 1650 now.

    • That's a MTVI2 analysis for chlorophyll production.

      It is quite easy when you have messed around a little while. Locate the GC of your flying wing. Get a brass tube with the same diameter of your camera's lens, heat the tube and make a perforation. It should be quite clean but consider practicing before hand.

      What I do is that I turn on my camera when the survey starts and turn it off when the survey ends. This ensures a safe belly landing.

    • Ah, you use a retract lens camera, I have one retract and the others no, I'm thinking to move the camera or make a little cup with a servo downside the camera.....and not forget to close it to land ;)

    • Yes, I do use a retract lens camera. I think you are heading in the right direction. You can simply 3D print a protective cup.

      Also, you could use a net to land/catch your UAV! I will start to build mine next week.

    • What's that? in spanish? (net to land)

    • It is English. A "net" is a piece of meshed fabric. Take a look at this video.

    • LOL, really a net ;), I thougth that it was a special thing to land, I looks tons of videos but never this :O , good idea.... but I'm not shure if I'm so good pilot not to hit people.

      Thank's for the video.

  • Hi Roberto,

    Potato crop is quite tricky! I have used a Fx-61 platform with an IR camera to do a couple of surveys with sweet results:

    3702083051?profile=originalThat's a 76 Ha potato crop with a central pivot irrigation system. I suggest you use a fixed wing if you are going to survey a +20 Ha field. Otherwise, stick with a multicopter.

    Hope this helps! Cheers!

    • VERY poor orthomosaic results. For example, look at the right half of the pivot. The spotted "squares" indicated incorrect ortho processing. From similar reviewed results, this looks to be from Pix4D. Yes?


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