I happend to have lunch with a cattle rancher and somehow the topic of flying my Multicopter came up. The rancher immediately perked up and asked if I could fly and find his cattle. They graze on hundreds of acres and then round them up to move them or send to marked but he currently has a dozen or so missing. So I started thinking about how using a plane they could search for the missing ones. The concerns I have would be.
- Could you even identify the cattle from the air in either a video or still pictures and how efficient would it be to have to either look at or watch a video to locate them.
- What altitude do you think you could get decent pictures from to be able to identify cattle easily yet cover the most amount of ground at once?
- The gps coordinates would need to be overlaid onto the pictures or video to know where the picture was taken.
- The cattle will go under tree cover during parts of the day so he said early morning or late in the day they would go out and graze in the open so most operations would need to be early in the day or late in the day.
- How fast could you fly or how much area can be covered in say a half hour flight. ( I don't know how long a plane can fly)
- This land is in the foothills so terrain can be open flat and in the middle a hill etc so altitude awareness is a must.
- If all of the above things can be sorted out, would this be something a ranch hand employee of his could learn to do reliably to make it worthwhile?
I know we have a bunch of really smart people here so give me your thoughts on this. I fly my Y6 for fun and have a gimbal and gopro but the vast area I have to believe requires a plane due to speed and flight times. Attached is a picture of what some of the terrain looks like.