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 –


    • @Mattias,

      your images look fuzzy, unsharp irrespective of preset resolution and altitude in your survey.
      Have you tried to replace lens ?
      Google Maps' sat imaginery sometimes feature lower resolution but still sharp imaginery.

      My front page
    • Yes, they are. These are made with two Canon S100. One modified to NIR and one RGB. I should probably add better quality photos from low altitude flight.

    • I understand that 23.000has are in the hole year in different days, different fields, not an only giant 23.000 has ortophoto. 

    • Biggest projects in term of surfaces are often linear : road, pipeline, electrical line...

      It is almost impossible to process several 1000's of pictures in one go and get on single huge ortho geotiff. And for the client usually less equipped than we are in workstations files bigger than 500 MB are an issue.

      So a 3700 photos survey will often be processed in let's say 10 x 370, giving 10 orthos and DEMs.

  • I strongly agree with what is said above about calculation time. It will be the most time consuming line in your schedule.

    You probably can afford several fixed wing platforms to shorten acquisition time. But processing and charting 23000 Ha will be a huge work.

    My business target is now including 1000 + hectares jobs and I am looking for dual Xeon workstation (~10 k€) to handle them in reasonable time frame.

    • Hi Pascal I am planning to use servers on cloud instead of buying it at the moment or maybe use fully managed collocation facility.

      Do you think processing time would significantly reduce if images are geo-tagged using onboard camera vs using GCPs alone? 

    • Hi RG,

      You will do automated mission, so you will have GPS on board. And geotagging from log files is very easy with Mission Planner. Localization of cameras will be much faster in data processing, but it is only one step in a much longer process.

      But you will need CGP to get the true "land survey quality" and also the quality control on accuracy to argue with your client. Even by using onboard RTK, I can not see how to avoid CGP.

      So you need both of them : geotagged photos + CGP.

    • It makes a huge difference when using Geo referenced Images.


  • @RG, can you explain which are your goals? Which crops? Is it a single flight, or you paln to conduct a series? What is exactly you want to see in the images?
  • I think a Canard/Delta Wing airframe would be a good option to consider.

    I really like the design of the Israeli Harop drone that has a range of 1000 Km and uses a heavy fuel engine that gives it a 6 hour flight time. Actually the Indian army uses the Harop for its defense.

    I made a full scale Harop on X-plane that has a 3-D camera on board and also has a parachute landing system.

    A full scale Harop ( 9 ft wingspan) would be capable of carrying  50 pounds of equipment so it has allot of potential .

This reply was deleted.