Help for a rookie

We are new to drones and are seeking recommendations for user friendly equipment that will help us map and monitor farm/wildlife acreage. Maybe adding thermal imaging to help monitor coyote/deer activity later on? Product reviews and/or educational material suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance for your thoughtful reply.

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  • let us know how it goes love to hear more about the thermal imaging choices--we're building rovers UGVs for ag and ranching


  • Hey Whipple,

    Do you have a preference between a multirotor or fixed-wing? I'm not able to offer any advice on the fixed-wing side of things. You need to look for high endurance, sturdy systems using the Pixhawk as the flight controller (easy to set up mapping missions).

    My go-to system right now is the Turbo Ace Matrix-S running their 15x5.5 props and a Pixhawk. I use a GoPro in the Gyrox-3 gimbal for mapping and have it hooked up to a 1.3 GHz live-feed system (I'm using this for both scouting crop fields and mapping fields when needed). The GoPro is modified by, and lenses can be switched from regular RGB to NIR,G,B and vice versa. What I like about the Turbo Ace platform is the hardware and flight times. Using a 12,000mah 6S Multistar, I'm seeing around 22 to 28 minutes real-world flight times. There's enough reserve in the drivetrain to add another 12A battery in parallel. That pushes the system out to 35 minutes flight times. Mapping at 8 m/s I get between 125 to 175 acres depending on the shape of the area of interest.

    Feel free to PM me. If tried a lot of different systems and experiences that may help out.

  • If you have a target budget that would be helpful :-) 

    • Coty, not sure but under $5k would be preferable. Thanks.
    • Greetings,

      For under $5K, I'd talk to Event 38.

      They have aircraft operating all over North and South America doing ag work.


    • Thanks David. Have a great week.
  • Greetings,

    The more user friendly you go, the more expensive the solution is. For $3,000 US you can buy an Event 38 E384 fixed wing that can do optical and NDVI imagery. You currently need to be somewhat technically proficient to use it.

    For, I think, $16,000 US you can buy an AgEagle or senseFly eBee. These are much easier to fly and collect very similar imagery.

    If you want to fly a wider variety of sensors, check out PrecisionHawk. The airframe is about $16,000 and sensors range from $1,000 to $10,000 depending on what you want to do.

    The prices for everything other than the E384 are from memory, please check with the vendors for current pricing.


    • Thank you David. The Event looks nice. The AgEagle looks amazing but it might be more than we need. We have about 600 acres of hardwoods and pasture/bird fields.
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