Suggestion for drones for surveying very large areas

We need to survey about 23,000+ Hectares of agriculture land and wondering what drone options we got given

(a) We have to survey really large area and small amount of time.

(b) We need to scan whole area say 3-4 times in a 8 months, over the season of crop to record growth.

(c) RGB + NDVI camera is good enough for now.

(d) Drone which is easy to repair, as I am sure there will be many crashes during operations..

Would it make more sense for to assemble it our own given we would need bunch of them, and we would need quick turn around time in case of repair/crash...

You need to be a member of diydrones to add comments!

Join diydrones

Email me when people reply –


  • My experience with Agisoft PhotoScan is that when you double the resolution, you quadruple the the processing time. There are many variables that will determine the processing time, but a 1 cm resolution even in a small capture area could take days if you want the output to have the same resolution. You will need a super computer to process this much data in a reasonable amount of time for that kind of resolution on such a big area. 

    • @Patrick,


      My experience with Agisoft PhotoScan is that when you double the resolution, you quadruple the the processing time. "

      doubling the resolution you quadruple the size of image but there is no easy limit set on the processing time since you can study more objects, more new features (pattern recognition) at your own discretion.

      At 1 pixel resolution ( single point) image you can this point only , RGB values, HUE..

      with 4 pixels image you can study the configuration of the pixels and ... as above

      with 16 pixels and more and more pixels you can study new objects identified within the image ( plants, parts of the plants,  parts of the parts of the plans ..)

      you can study more and more new objects to appear if object is studied under microscope.

      So a nice approach to limit the budget spending is to ask RG for the geolocation of his agriculture land, open the geolocation with Google Maps, Google Earth and other known

      map imaginery systems and ask @RG if he/she is satisfied with resolution of the available maps/ satellite imaginery.

      If satisfied, problem is closed.

      If not, we should ask @RG to conduct case study and provide us with images of sought/ targeted resolution and to provide with a list of features sought or to be studied.

      It makes no problem if the size of the imaginery resources saved is 1TB, 100TB  or more

      since if local Internet access bandwidth is limited, you can esily deliver 20 x 5TB hard disks to any location.

      You don't have to buy a new supercomputer to process 100TB of imaginery resources

      since you can buy access time to supercomputer facilities in the cloud and batch process all your input.

      Since @RG has no previous experience with very large areas surveying

      all we can suggest him/her is to limit the project to very small area to

      get some basic experience.

      Limiting his/her project to 1 hectar is a good idea.

      Suggestion for drones for surveying very large areas

    • As @Antonio said.......: good luck

  • Hi RG

    I'm interested in your resolution requirements as well.

    My assumption is that higher resolutions (e.g. 1-2cm) will give better advantage
    to UAV vs manned aircraft. Am I right here?

    Wolfgang R.

    p.s. interesting project, thanks for all infos here

    • 1-2 cm resolution in 23.000ha?  Good luck

    • Resolution you need depends what you want to investigate, monitor, not always better, sometimes is a problem.

    • Is it true that higher resolution is always better? Should the question be: What resolution is good enough? What about the tradeoff: resolution/acquisition cost/agronomic value?

  • One option may be the Lynx M by Swift Radioplanes. Lynx flies for 3 hours with payload and can carry the 5 band Micasense Rededge camera in landscape orientation for ideal coverage.

    • Thanks Matthew, do you know the price of Lynx M?

    • RG,

      Please email for pricing information and detailed specs. 

This reply was deleted.