The Grasshopper NDVI is the newest in our line of simple-to-use survey cameras. Every Grasshopper NDVI camera allows the connection to an external USB GPS receiver to automatically geo-tag each captured image. Its 8MP sensor and sharp non-fisheye lens allow you to capture aerial media easily. It captures photos on the default timer trigger or can be sent a PWM signal through the HDMI port (see below). If you supply power to the USB port it will power on the camera automatically. Sized similar to a GoPro® Hero these small survey cameras can be attached to your aerial drone platform using our various mounts.
This Red+NIR (NDVI) model sees Near Infrared 850nm and Red 660nm light. The images from this camera are commonly calibrated into an index image and then a colored lut is applied to show contrast between healthy and poor health vegetation.
Drones with cameras have both commercial and recreational applications. For commercial use-cases, the ability to live stream videos, with low latency, is crucial for the effective use of drones. This enables enterprise stakeholders to see things happening far away, in near-real-time, from a bird’s eye view. Many industries, sectors, and use-cases can leverage such remote drone operations, for example:
Search & rescue
Surveillance and security
Monitoring and inspection
A cloud-connected, user-friendly solution can thus be leveraged by drone operators, specialized service providers, UAV system integrators, and enterprise drone program managers.
Multi-Camera Streaming via FlytNow
The capability to stream videos from multiple drones, simultaneously, is now available in FlytNow, the remote drone operations solution from FlytBase. Multiple camera (‘Multi-Cam’) streams can be viewed from a single operator dashboard, which can also be used to control multiple drones, their payloads, camera gimbals, etc.
Top 3 Use Cases of Multi-Cam Streaming
While there are numerous commercial applications that can benefit from drone fleets and multiple-camera streaming capabilities, these 3 seem to be gaining the most traction.
Security & Surveillance
Automated drone patrols are at the heart of surveillance of residential, commercial, and industrial premises. With the FlytNow multi-cam feature, surveillance drone operators can cover large areas from a single dashboard; it allows them to gain situational awareness during a security breach, with the added advantage of images & video surveillance from different angles.
Security stakeholders can combine different views (eg. thermal and normal camera feeds) and be much more effective during night time, low visibility conditions, etc.
Drones are used to inspect infrastructural and other valuable assets that are remote, hard to reach, or massive in size. With FlytNow, inspection personnel can view such assets from multiple angles, with the videos streamed in real-time, from multiple drones to a single dashboard in the command center or control room. This ability is useful in a range of remote inspection activities such as structural inspections, wind turbine inspections, cell tower inspections, oil & gas refinery inspections, and pipeline inspections.
Large structures under construction require to be inspected quite regularly – this includes visual observations of foundations, roofs, and key structural components. The inspection data provide insights into the overall condition, progress, and maintenance needs of such properties.
The traditional way of inspecting, which involved manual inspection of only some of the areas of a large structure, is severely lacking – not only in coverage but also in terms of safety. Drone footage, on the other hand, can both improve coverage, reduce inspection time, and eliminate almost all safety concerns. Drone fleets powered by FlytNow can give stakeholders automated aerial views, from multiple angles, of important but hard-to-reach structural locations.
Wind Turbine Inspections
Periodic inspections are an important part of the maintenance programs of wind-turbine sites, so as to maintain their efficiency, safety, and longevity. It’s important to check the structural integrity of the blades since different parts expand and contract differently under varying climatic conditions. Blades are also subject to damage from dirt, birds, snow, ice, etc.
Here, drones are now being used to rapidly, safely, and quickly scan the different parts of a wind turbine with highly calibrated IR sensors and high-resolution cameras. With FlytNow Enterprise, an inspector can capture different aerial views of a blade, control the camera gimbal remotely, and maintain a safe distance automatically.
Cell Tower Inspections
Cell towers are tall structures that need periodic inspections to keep them operational and safe. Drone-based inspections can help significantly reduce the amount of time that people have to spend on a tower for such inspections. Safety, speed, and cost are all factors in making remote aerial inspections more amenable for broad adoption. Using FlytNow, live streams from drone fleets can be delivered to a single dashboard; these videos can then be shared with guest users, regulators, and other stakeholders in cell tower inspections.
Refinery and Pipeline Inspections
Drones are being designed and deployed for corrosion detection, analysis of cracks, spillage, and leak detection in oil and gas refineries and along long-distance pipelines. The information gathered by drone fleets can be invaluable for maintenance and planning at these complex facilities, with billions of dollars of infrastructure at stake. The speed with which inspection data is gathered can be drastically improved using multiple, autonomous drones, powered by multi-cam streaming available via FlytNow.
The biggest risk in public safety is to first responders, who have to be on-site without timely situational awareness. They also have to deploy fire trucks, ambulances, police cars, and other equipment – without first being able to assess the situation.
US-based technology companyPhirst Technologies, which focuses on public safety solutions, has integrated autonomous drones into the CAD system that supports the 911 service. The idea is to dispatch drones from a unified dashboard to assess a situation before sending human responders. The solution is called FIRST iZ, and they are using FlytBase technology to power their drone automation.
Drones thus offer a compelling capability for incident response – public safety authorities can deploy them first, gain real-time awareness, and make better-informed decisions about people and equipment deployments.
These capabilities are now available in FlytNow so that search parties can quickly dispatch a fleet of drones and stream the live footage from them to a single dashboard, thus expediting the search and rescue process.
Drones fitted with IR sensors can find people trapped in difficult situations such as forest fires where visibility can be quite poor. In 2018, fires scorched more than 150,000 acres in less than two weeks in California. 16 teams of public safety officials clocked 500 drone flights in 3 days. UAV flight data was used to aid search and rescue operations, and pinpoint the path of the fire.
Since such operations may require scanning a very large area, of the order of hundreds of square miles, features like multi-cam streaming are crucial for the deployment of a large fleet of thermal drones.
During the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020,drones deployed in the city of Ahmedabad, India helped monitor lockdown and mitigate the spread of the deadly coronavirus. A central command center was established, with the FlytNow dashboard receiving live video streams from multiple drones flying across the city.
Observational surveillance systems rely on the capabilities of the cameras employed, but the main limiting factor is the stationary nature of the cameras in a traditional surveillance system. Now, surveillance can be achieved utilizing drones; it can be not only cost-effective but also accomplish the desired outcome more safely, efficiently and at a much larger scale. Security drones present a quicker, more economical method of aerial information collection.
Here are some of the benefits of using drones for surveillance.
Security drones can reach confined and narrow spaces. They can be outfitted with detectors and night vision cameras, giving them a superior vision that can detect things that a human eye cannot.
Drones can reach a spot much faster than humans, making them the ideal first responders.
Drones can provide a birds-eye view of a situation from multiple angles, especially when deployed as autonomous fleets.
Drones can keep humans out of harm’s way, by providing real-time situational awareness in dangerous situations.
Drones can be fitted with IR sensors, thus making them effective even during night time.
Drones powered by intelligent software bring in the capability to deploy complex analytics, mapping, and object detection features.
Use Cases for Surveillance Drones
Adrone security systemcan be deployed for home security or monitoring commercial properties. They can relaylive video footage, eliminate blind spots both during the day and nighttime — and follow and track trespassers and intruders, thus reducing the chance of theft.
Drone surveillance can aid in real-time traffic control. They can improve situational awareness during accidents. Drones can employ analytics in traffic management that includes automatic vehicle count recognition, license plate identification, and tracking vehicular activities for improved safety and security.
Forest officials face a constant threat of poachers hunting. Drones outfitted with thermal devices can replace stationary IR systems that are costly and not as effective. Surveillance drones have a fast turnaround time; they can be deployed on-demand and controlled from a base station.
Commercial and residential properties usually have pre-defined boundaries. Surveillance drones can track a target area from a safe distance with live updates of possible threats present at/inside the perimeter. Surveillance drones can operate even at night time with the help of IR sensors, thus avoiding harm to security guards and serving as ‘eyes in the sky’.
The government can track large scale events and execute complex analytics like head-count evaluation, riot detection, and identification of law-breakers. Drones armed with speakers and beacons may be used for crowd control.
Surveillance drones can be used to monitor insecure border operations and dangerous zones. They can give live video feeds to security officials and other stakeholders, thus enabling them to make strategic decisions from safety.
FlytNow Enables Surveillance with Drones
FlytNow is a cloud-based, remote drone operations software that can be used to manage a fleet of drones from a single, user-friendly dashboard. The platform has intelligent features like geofencing, flight path design, precision landing, autonomous charging, collision avoidance, etc. that can be used for automating surveillance activities with drones.
The FlytNow dashboard is the command center from where operators can control multiple drones, which in turn are connected via 4G/LTE/5G. Users can stream live videos from the entire fleet of drones on a single dashboard, and can easily switch between map mode or video mode.
The FlytNow solution also integrates with the Drone-in-a-Box technology allowing enterprise users to completely automate the flight, patrol and docking cycle of a drone.
How can drones be easily, quickly adopted for security use-cases?
FlytBase offers a28-day free trialfor users to explore FlytNow Pro edition and its relevance to specific use-cases for security stakeholders. Customers can add their drone fleets, fly them autonomously, create flight plans & coordinate missions, set geo-fence and checklists, view and store live video footage and integrate drone operations into an existing system.
In the wake of the recentCOVID-19outbreak which has affected almost every nation, government organizations and law-enforcement agencies are in search of an effective solution to fight this pandemic with minimal human interaction.
Drones seem to be an appropriate solution to tackle this menace. Apart from the transportation of emergency medical & pharmaceutical supplies, health-kits and blood samples, these unmanned aerial vehicles can effectively aid authorities in administering a state of lockdown.
A report in South China Morning Post says, the Chinese government “has adapted and co-opted industrial drones to help ensure that an estimated 50 million residents are kept at home and indoors across a dozen cities.” A fleet of drones is estimated to replace the surveillance capacity and enforcement duties of more than 100 policemen operating in dozens of patrol vehicles across a 10 square kilometer radius.
3 ways in which Drones can help manage lockdowns
While the need for social distancing and self-quarantining has already been enforced by most of the local and national government bodies in the form of curfews or lockdowns, there lies a constant necessity to monitor public spaces, in order to make sure that people are at all times following the state-mandated orders.
Equipped with thermal sensors, HD zoom lenses, loudspeakers, beacons, and disinfectant spray jets, drones are playing a crucial role in arresting the spread of the deadly virus.
1. Remote Aerial Patrolling
As a response to the current public health crisis, drones powered withFlytNow can send ultra-low latency (<1 second) live-videofeed over 4G/5G/LTE network to a cloud-based remotely operated COVID-19 command control center. The capturedvideo streams can be further shared with stakeholders and decision-makerslocated anywhere across the world, to help monitor the overall social situation and take measures to control the crowd and maintain public safety.
Police authorities can autonomously capture data for a predefined/geofenced area of interest, or send the drone to specific GPS coordinates – on-demand during emergency situations. They can also combine and manage a fleet of drones with a variety of payloads, battery endurance, and capabilities. To operate 24×7, thermal camera scans can be integrated fornight-time surveillanceto detect a breach of lockdown protocols.
Drones equipped with high-definition cameras for a wide field of view, can monitor a large area including narrow roads and by-lanes and take appropriate action to curb overcrowding at several locations.
Taking advantage of the FlytDock precision-landing module, with centimeter-level accuracy, drones can be safely landed on any designated spot or even a moving vehicle, significantly reducing the risk of emergency personnel being infected by the pathogen.
Why use FlytNow:
Live HD video-feed at the remote station over 4G/LTE
Cover large area or city with fleet of drones
Remote gimbal control to pan/tilt drone camera to look around
Public authorities using FlytNow can use drones to monitor a large area for unauthorized human gathering, since human contact is the primary way in which the coronavirus is spreading.
Built-in features like geofencing, autonomous flight, andautomatic movement detection, can help authorities to catch offenders during a routine autonomous FlytNow patrol with minimum human involvement. This will allow for easy control and management of a large area with a small number of drone operators.
Fitted with loudspeakers, drones can be deployed to issue advisories, share key information, warn the public against breaching restrictions or broadcast lockdown rules and regulations, to effectively monitor and calm a panic-stricken crowd.
Drone can be the first respondersin the event of an emergency like a riot, and can de-escalate the situation using onboard attachments like a siren or remotely controlled non-lethal weapon. Both the drone and its attachment can be controlled from the FlytNow dashboard. SinceFlytNow supports most major drone hardware platforms, authorities can use different kinds of drones based on the situation; for example, a combination of both heavy and light drones can be used.
Integration with loudspeakers or sirens to monitor the crowd.
3. Remote Public Announcements
In a lockdown situation where the communication channels also have been shut down, drones can be used to make important announcements in an area.
Using FlytNow, authorities can dispatch a fleet of drones, which will follow a predefined path, carrying a public address system. With a message played on a loop, a fleet of drones can cover a large area compared to traditional vehicles.
Why use FlytNow:
Broadcast audio message to a fleet of drones equipped with a loudspeaker
Automated flights on a regular interval
Remotely transmit a message to lockdown offenders
Cover large area with a fleet of drones
Drones in Action Around the World for COVID-19
Drones are already in action and law enforcement officials, across the world, are already using it. In Bengaluru,India, police are using drones to catch offenders who are disobeying the lockdown.
Francehas also deployed drones to enforce their lockdown. Police are runningaerial patrolsin the streets of Nice and warning the residents not to venture out of their homes.
Chinahas gone a step further; they have deployed heavy drones equipped with special attachments to disinfect large swathes of lands by spraying chemicals in the air.
Drones are already at the forefront of the worldwide battle against COVID-19. At FlytNow, we want to support public health and safety stakeholders in every corner of this world, which is why we are providing theFlytNow Pro solution free of costto peopleduring the coming weeks.
FlytNow Pro takes care of the complexities of managing a large number of drones, so that health workers, police, firefighters, and other public safety personnel can focus on getting the job done.