Hi all,

I have been silently watching this group for months now and reading as much as I can and I am finally at a point where I would like to ask for input.

I live in South Korea and at the moment UAVs are just a hobby, but like many of you I would like to be a part of this massive evolution in tech and its endless Agri applications. My dream would be to fly UAVs over farms in South Africa (my home) and collect crop/stock data confidently and possibly offer this skill set to the Environmental sector too, as this is where I have most of my training (EIA and ESIA studies)

I have just finished building a pretty solid flying wing and I have got the hang of flying it: 

My question is: What now?

Do I buy the APM autopilot system and learn how that works? Do I get setup for FPV? Cash in my life savings and buy a decent multispec cam? 

Any suggestions would be most welcome and additional tips and wisdom would be appreciated.


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    • Here an interesting link to deepen the knowledge in the area.



    • Hi Thorsten,

      RAW v Jpeg, I am not an expert, but the experts that I supplied data for (2 years ago) asked for RAW imagery and I got into the habit of doing this. There are many forums on the web that have discussued this topic, see RAW v Jpeg or Digital Photography Scool RAW vs Jpeg

      As you can see a Jpeg could be used for calculating NDVI, but RAW is superior. As most cameras can do both at the same time, it is recommended to capture both, so the Jpeg's can be viewed quickly in the fields straight after the mission to confirm image overlap, etc and RAW data processed back in the office.

      Please share your experience of processing Jpeg's into NDVI using the Red channel, I'm always looking for new easier / simpler ways of doing a job. That's why I bought a Tetracam ADC Micro last year and stopped using the IR converted Canon to produce NDVI.

      Now CHDK is fully supported in Arduplane & MP, for an entry level system, it seems sensible to use two Canon pocket cameras with one conerted to IR 720nm or 850nm.

      Best regards,


  • I suggest getting one of http://publiclab.org/ multispectral webcams and some kind of ARM board to build your multispectral cam next. 59.95 for the multispectral webcam :)


    ps I am kind of in the same research phase...

  • In my opinion, the next step is an autopilot that can fly waypoints (gps) and a gopro or point and shoot camera. After that, you may want to add an FPV video downlink, however, we have flown for years without this option. Look into NDVI conversions for point and shoot cams. As an inexpensive imaging system for vegetation. You have reached the crossroads where the data package becomes mission dependant. It sounds like you will need to be familiar with several systems as your missions will all demand different setups.
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