I couldn't resist to share the close-ups of our custom delivery of Pteryx PRO for AGROCOM Polska (precision agriculture consulting services).

This is most probably the only operational setup in the world that can do simultaneous mapping of both visible and full spectrum (including near IR) photos.

We have used mechanical triggering (scheduled automatically by the autopilot) that allows using different cameras with the same metal mount. The head is a part of Pteryx UAV and is made of kevlar+carbon fiber, it is also roll stabilised for guaranteed ground photo overlap.



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  • T3

    Yes head swapping is possible and practiced often as all you need is to slightly unscrew the metal collar that is holding thick nylon ring from sliding along the fuselage. We do it sometimes just to play with camera mount itself if it is something exotic.

    This way the head slides slightly vs rest of fuselage during classic landings, dissipating energy into friction.

    It is not military style 'loud click then go' solution, but one screw and servo connector looks good enough for civilian job and has secondary fail-safe purposes as mentioned.

    During one crash landing into high tree, the plane stayed on the tree and the camhead went ballistic stealing a lot of kinetic energy. We dug the head out of the ground and Canon S90 is making good maps to this day - it has hit base first. Head itself of course unscratched, camera mounts bent, wings are history but the fuselage somehow survived impact to the ground after some serious shaking. As a result, next day it was flight ready again - but a lot of luck involved.

  • We operate services so yes, as the product is the imagery.
  • T3
    I am happy you are all popping up. The title is highly provocative, by design. Were your product sold/shipped to the client?
  • Sorry Kryzs but you're a long way off being the first such civil installation. We flew our first combined NIR/RGB installation about three years ago and weren't the first in the world.

    I'm afraid I can't post pics of the latest setup as it's commercially sensitive.

    Your setup looks great though, just what Pteryx was designed to do!


    Your setup looks great though
  • T3

    Sorry MarcS, but I am highly allergic to such comments. Imagine somebody never tried CHDK. if you have that cash and the mission is starting in the next few days, this 125USD is bargain because the option would be to hire somebody (who?).

    I remember spending 1 month searching from time to time the right firmware for S90 because mine was too recent. Until it finally appeared.

  • Hi, did you look what it does? I refer to this description:


    From what I read there is basically a preconfigured CHDK (plus a manual, ok), no word about fancy extra scripts... So please respect my comment on that.

    I know that these comparisons and the question of value of work is always critical, especially in the open source environment... With the beginning of commercial use starting right now.. And I know how much work programming takes. So let´s get back to science :-)

  • T3

    "And as a note, charging 125$ for a CHDK "Firmware Upgrade", I don´t know.."

    Ask them what it does. If you achieve the same effect, and you need that effect, and you spend time quantizing if you really need that effect, then you test it so it works and finally you spent less than 125USD of your free time, you win. If not, you loose your time like any other smart kid while buying 2KUSD camera... Go ask them before posting negative comment.


    How much you pay your lawyer for 5 min of thinking and 25min paperwriting? Multiply by 6 and you get minimal realistic time to install any software upgrade on anything that flies.


  • Rory you are right, it´s a strange interpretation of NDVI... As the Information is actualy contained in the difference of the spectral red and NIR channels... So they will get something else, what can probably be interpreted for vegetation but is not an NDVI. And your question about the influence is the right one. On the compact camera you can see in the filter plot that the green and blue channel still receive NIR. And also the NIR channel is shifted too much to the red... 670 is Red...  What you really want is something like that http://paparazzi.enac.fr/wiki/Image:Filter2.jpg (again from the "Adler" project).

    So I agree, it is probably not a system for quantitative remote sensing.  This is more ment for that: http://www.tetracam.com/ . But again, you pay for what you get...

    And as a note, charging 125$ for a CHDK "Firmware Upgrade", I don´t know..

  • T3



    I am really not sure regarding the Maxmax system. From what I understand are using the Green channel to capture the data you need for Red while the Red channel captures the NIR. The question then becomes does the NIR filter not influence the Green  channel data?  Bottom line is that for this to be a quantitative system that can be calibrated and the results tested they would need to convince me that whatever they are doing in software conforms with the NDVI process and I suspect that   


    I know of a chap in Kansas that has recently purchased the Canon option at $2700 for a project I will ask him for his opinion about the process and will let you know.





  • This a great discussion.  Rory, what do you think of the vegetation stress camera at: http://www.maxmax.com/vegetation_stress_mkii.htm?  It could be a good solution, and at only 600$ for the camera + conversion it's not too expensive.

    Maybe with that you could get higher precision?

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