Agriculture Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
by Homeland Surveillance &
AG-VA Multi-Rotor Sprayers
Hercules Helicopter Sprayers
MRCD6 Multi-Rotor Sprayer
MRCD18 Multi-Rotor Sprayer
MRCD24 Multi-Rotor Sprayer
RHCD-01 Helicopter Sprayer
RHCD-80-1 Helicopter Sprayer
RHCD-80-15 Helicopter Sprayer
How UAV Sprayers Work
What is Vegetation Index Vigor
NDVI Multi-Spectral Cameras
UAVs On The Farm
Managing Prickly Pear
Farm Bureau - Drone ROI
UAV Role In Agriculture
UAV Planting Trees
Big Yields Research
Precision AG In The Drone Age
Yamaha RMAX Crop Sprayer
Other Commercial Platforms
914 Rotax Manned/Unmanned
Alliance HD Helicopter
Alliance Gas Helicopter
Avenger Electric Helicopter
RDASS Q1000 Quad-Rotor
Delta-FW70 Fixed Wing
Satellite quality data,
UAV Pilot Training School
Class Size Are Limited
Avoid Fines &
Releases Small UAS Notice of Proposed Rulemaking!
- Check out the provisions being proposed in the FAA’s Small UAS
FAA Grants UAV Permits for Agriculture & Real Estate Companies
- The Associated Press reports
that on Tuesday, the FAA issued exceptions to the commercial UAV
ban, permitting the monitoring of crops and real estate use for
aerial photographs of properties for sale. This is the first
time permits have been granted to agriculture and real estate
FAA Poised to Include Limitations on Hobbyist UAVs -
The FAA is proposing to amend
its regulations to adopt specific rules for the operation of
small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in the National Airspace
Judge Rules Against FAA in ‘Landmark’ UAV Challenge -
In a decision dated March 6,
NTSB Judge Patrick Geraghty found that
the FAA has no regulations that apply
to model aircraft or that classify a model aircraft as an
unmanned aircraft system.
For more than five
decades, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has compiled
a proven track record of introducing new technology and aircraft
safely into the National Airspace System (NAS).
FAA Fact Sheet – Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)
- For Immediate Release.
FAA Certificate of Authorization or Waiver (COA)
- Before you can
operate a UAV in National Airspace System (NAS) you must have a
COA. The average time to issue an authorization for
non-emergency operations is less than 60 days,
Used UAV For Sale -
Commercial, industrial, military, first
responders and police UAV's with 1 - 75 lb payload helicopter
UAV. Autopilots, cameras and more. Check them out!
Demo UAV For
Sale - Great
Saving on our Demo Unmanned Aerial Vehicles UAVs For Sale.
All of our Demo UAV Units for sale have low flight hours and are
in excellent condition.
The UAV Blog
- Find out
what others are saying about the World of UAVs. Share your
2 cents worth with them! No
Cameras & Lens
Satellite quality data,
Designed for the agriculture market.
Blue - Green - Red - Red
Edge - Near-Infrared
New technologies are
revolutionizing the use of remote sensing in agriculture. The
widespread availability of low cost drones enables agricultural
professionals to cost-effectively gather crop health information
without waiting for satellite passes or paying the high costs of
manned-aircraft flights. Information can be collected at
resolutions measured in just inches per pixel. Data captured on
a frequent basis enables growers and agronomists to map the
health and vigor of crops today as well as observing how that
crop is changing over time.
MicaSense delivers technologies that enable this revolution. Our
advanced data gathering and processing system, coupled with
professional analysis tools, provide accurate and repeatable
information on the status of a crop. Raw data from the MicaSense
camera is transformed into vegetation index maps. Powerful
analytics provide time-based trends and change maps. Analysis
tools such as plant population counts enable optimized farm
The MicaSense RedEdge™ is
an advanced, lightweight, multispectral camera optimized for use
in small unmanned aircraft systems, and available for use on
manned aircraft as well. RedEdge™ provides accurate multi-band
data for agricultural remote sensing applications.
RedEdge™ is much more than just a camera, sharing more design
features with Earth imaging satellites than it does with
standard consumer cameras. Industrial imaging sensors provide
high dynamic range in varying lighting conditions while removing
artifacts commonly seen in drone video and imagery. Coupled with
MicaSense Data Services, RedEdge™ provides a complete imaging,
processing, and analysis system ready for integration with any
Need a closer look? Unplug your RedEdge™ and go handheld. An
integrated shutter button lets you take close-ups of areas of
interest, and with the optional GPS module, maintain geo-tagging
and time-stamping of all of your multispectral images.
More than just pretty
pictures - simultaneous capture of five discrete spectral
bands optimized for crop health data gathering.
Fly fast - we can keep
up! Capturing all bands once per second enables faster
flight speeds and lower altitude captures.
global shutter design creates distortion-free images on
Single card - tired of juggling multiple cards? With RedEdge™,
one SD card stores all images and data for easy data
Metadata included -
all image files are time-stamped and geo-tagged, no third
party tools or autopilot logs required.
Fully calibrated -
leave your integrating sphere at home, we have you covered.
Every camera comes fully calibrated for precise, repeatable
measurements every time.
Stand-alone - with
external GPS connections and self-triggering capability,
easily collect geo-tagged data without any connections to
the host vehicle.
Data at your
fingertips - With Wi-Fi built in, preview images and change
settings from your phone, tablet, and computer.
Fully integrated - our
convenient Ethernet, serial, and Wi-Fi host interfaces allow
tight integration with any platform.
No moving parts -
solid-state design means nothing to break on those dusty
days or the occasional harsh landing.
Weight 150 g (5.3 oz)
Dimensions 4.8” x 2.6” x 1.8” (12.1 cm x 6.6 cm x 4.6 cm)
Spectral Bands Narrowband filters for Blue, Green, Red, Red
Ground Sample Distance 8.0 cm/pixel (per band) at 120 m (~400
Capture Speed 1 capture per second (all bands), 12-bit RAW
sensing provides radically new perspectives on the health and
vigor of crops. It allows growers and agronomists to detect
areas of stress in a crop and manage these issues immediately.
It enables precise application of nutrient inputs and disease
preventative actions based on the actual field conditions today.
Below are some examples of images and vegetation-index maps
using data captured with the MicaSense RedEdge™ camera and
analyzed through our data processing tools. Higher vigor areas
show as higher numbers. See the FAQ for details on NDVI.
Converted Single Image Camera
Blue, Green, Red
MicaSense Red Edge
Green, Red, Red Edge, Near-Infrared
Vineyard (from 400 ft)
NDRE (Red Edge-Based NDVI)
Corn (from 400 ft)
Vineyard (from 200 ft)
Color Composite and NDVI
Vineyard (from 400 ft)
Leeks (from 400 ft)
Launching in early summer
of 2015, MicaSense offers a powerful data service for storage,
processing, analysis, and presentation of multispectral data.
Using a secure cloud-based server, your raw data is processed
into actionable information that can be accessed from any
Fly your mission
your raw data
Accurate crop-health maps
View and manage your
data from anywhere
Secure - Your data is
encrypted during upload and storage.
Accurate - We do the
heavy lifting to provide you reliable data. Our processing
workflows include band-to-band registration and
implementation of camera calibration parameters to ensure
A Complete Solution -
Your processed data is presented as ortho-rectified map
layers, vegetation index layers (NDVI, GNDVI, GRVI, etc.),
and analytics information maps.
Easy to Navigate - Our
intuitive user interface allows you to quickly define field
boundaries, manage data layers and overlays, and securely
share your data.
Flexible - Our data
platform includes an API for access by developers and
customized application integrators.
will find here sample images and processed orthomosaics
representative of RedEdge. The following types of files are
Sample RAW Image Files: Containing the unprocessed
output files, as they are captured by the camera (one 16-bit RAW
TIFF file per band).
Rendered Images: Multi-color renderings of
various vegetation indices and composite images generated from
the reflectance-calibrated GEOTIF files.
Orthomosaic GEOTIF File: These files show a fully processed
output in GEOTIF format. These files contain
reflectance-calibrated bands normalized so that a pixel
intensity value of 32768 corresponds to 100% reflectance for
each band. Each layer of the GEOTIF is registered to all others
at the pixel level. Note that these images may not open
correctly in some image viewers. They are intended to be viewed
using GIS software (ArcGIS, ArcMap, QGIS ...)
Potatoes and Canola
Data captured at 60 meters AGL (200 ft AGL)
using RedEdge with 4 bands.
Sample RAW Image Files:
Double Click for Larger Images
Frequently Asked Questions
Intelligent Image Processing IIP?
Image processing is required to convert the hundreds or thousands of
images into one image, and then that is converted to what is known as NDVI. If you have not been involved with this specific image
processing in the past, then it is highly recommended that you contact a
professional processor as the procedures are very tedious and require
much time, computing power, and monetary investment. You can purchase
Pix4D or an equivalent for $5,000, spend thousands on a high speed
computer, take countless classes, and still be frustrated. To reiterate,
it is highly recommended to start off using post processing services
from a company such as Micasense and other companies, have
upload portals to upload images, super computers to process the data
efficiently, specialized software, and some have a PhD agronomists to provide you
with the proper data. Get your business up and running using a data
processor, first, and if, later, you find you have excess time, money,
and patience, you may attempt to process the data yourself. Even then,
the cost assessment and resulting quality of data between using an
online post data processing service and performing the task yourself is
highly in favor of using an online service. Provided you have the proper
background, this may not pertain to you; however, for those who are
inexperienced in this type of data processes, using an online data
processor is strongly recommended. Using an online service is both more
cost effective and simpler (no equipment to purchase or software to
lease) and the results are guaranteed. Using one of these services will
guarantee the availability of the data to your customer for certain.
What is multispectral imaging?
The colors we see in light are
defined by the wavelength of that light. Plants absorb and reflect light
differently depending on this wavelength. Plants typically absorb blue
light and red light, while reflecting some green light. They also
reflect a much larger amount of near-infrared (NIR) light, which is not
visible to the human eye but is visible to the RedEdge™. The reflectance
curve of a typical plant is shown below. Reflectance is the percent of
light that is reflected by the plant.
By measuring the reflectance of a
plant at different wavelengths, multispectral imaging enables
identification of areas of stress in a crop, and provides a quantitative
metric for the vigor of a plant.
How do multispectral cameras work?
Multispectral cameras work by
imaging different wavelengths of light. The MicaSense RedEdge™
multispectral camera has 5 imagers, each with a special optical filter
that allows only a precise set of light wavelengths to be captured by
that imager. Once processed, the output of the camera data is a set of
images where the value of each pixel is equal to percent reflectance of
light for that particular wavelength. These sets of images are then
stitched together to create geographically accurate mosaics, with
multiple layers for each wavelength. Mathematically combining these
layers yields vegetation indices. There are many types of vegetation
indices that measure different characteristics of a plant. Some indices,
for example, are useful for measuring chlorophyll content of plant
leaves. Other indices can be used to estimate nitrogen content. Other
indices provide indications of water stress. One popular index is the
Normalized Differential Vegetation Index (NDVI, created by combining the
reflectance from red and NIR light.
How does RedEdge™ differ from a
single-imager multispectral camera?
A single-imager multispectral
camera uses a blocking filter, combined with the standard camera's
built-in filter to capture information in 3 wavelengths of light.
Because these imagers aren't optimized for remote sensing, the built in
filters are wideband and suffer from data contamination from neighboring
bands. This figure shows a comparison of the RedEdge™ narrowband optical
filters and the filters used in a typical single-imager camera.
The RedEdge™ camera uses
narrowband filters with known characteristics combined with factory
calibration parameters, enabling accurate measurements of reflectance
that a converted camera simply cannot match.
A simple overview of how drones are used in the
farming industry to provide aerial imagery to create NDVI maps to
improve crop yields, reduce farming costs, protect the environment and
quantify crop damage insurance claims
The FAA recognizes that drones are essential to
increasing the productivity of farmlands. Small drones pose a limited
risk of injuring people, other aircraft, and property. Thus FAA approval
to use drones for farming is coming soon.
Probable FAA policies will revolve around safety, primarily collision
- Daylight operation
- LOS (Line of Sight) Operation
- 400' Ceiling
- Various safety devices, pilot and aircraft certifications, training,
safety protocols, etc.
Agronomists using drones to assist their
recommendations for fertilizer and pesticide application can improve the
bottom line to farmers by as much as 15%, and help the environment as
The world's farmers must increase yields to
feed the world's rapidly growing population. Drones are the latest
technological advancement to assist in increasing crop yields while
lowering pollution and costs.
Large fields and tall crops are extremely
difficult to assess from the ground. Drones provide aerial access at a
relatively low cost.
Agronomists operate the drones themselves or
hire local drone service providers to fly the fields.
Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) is an extremely important
tool to determine if crops are stressed. NDVI compares bands of light to
accurately determine plant stress. This is state of the art technology.
Wikipedia explains NDVI in detail.
Photos directly from the onboard NDVI
compatible camera are unusable as is. The photos must undergo special
First, individual photos are stitched together
to make one large photo. Online processors are used for this operation
due to the high cost and complexity of the hardware and software.
The high quality single image is converted to a
NDVI image. NDVI processing software is inexpensive and easy to use
though the same online processors who stitched the photos offer this
The agronomist uses both the normal and the
NDVI images with more traditional methods to assess plant stress.
Plant stress can be detected well before it can be seen with the naked
eye as well as after obvious damage is apparent.
The agronomist then performs "ground truthing"
combined with other traditional methods to verify the NDVI data and
determine the cause of the stress. Often the agronomist physically walks
into the field and looks at the plants where the NDVI has identified
The agronomist then makes recommendations to
the farmer. If variable rate applicators are used by the farmer, then
varying rates of fertilizer and pesticides are recommended which reduce
treatment costs, protect the environment by reducing unnecessary
over-applications, and increase yields.
The three photos below are all derived from only one camera. While you
see a low resolution image here, the resolution of the actual photo is
high enough to see individual blades of grass! The agronomist saves time
because if bare earth, standing water or another obvious problem is
identified using the image there is no need to walk the field. The
sod farmer in this case uses this data to identify excessively large
bare spots early on in the growing cycle to replant problem areas and
improve yield per acre.
Species Detection: Canadian Thistle
An NDVI map helped confirm the presence
of a Canadian Thistle infestation on this 122 acre corn field. A
flat rate herbicide prescription was applied to the entire
As shown in the aerial imagery,
inspections confirmed that only 0.6 acres required treatment. An
herbicide reduction of over 99% would have been possible with a
variable rate prescription, decreasing the overall environmental
impact and yield loss.
What is the Normalized Difference
Vegetation Index (NDVI?
NDVI maps are useful for detecting
plant stress that may be invisible to the human eye. By
measuring the spectral characteristics of plants with remote
sensors, vigor can be assessed based on the amount of visible
light being absorbed in relation to the amount of near-infrared
light being reflected by the plant. The healthier the plant, the
greater the difference between the two spectral values.
Location: NE Kansas
10 gallons/acre (diluted)
6.6 pints/acre (concentrate)
Flat rate area:
Variable rate area:
(-) 0.60 acres
|1,212.2 gallons (diluted)
100.0 gallons (concentrate)
Cost Savings Impact
Flat rate treatment
Variable rate &
Net cost reduction
Potential savings / total acreage
($3,424.50 / 121.82) =
INPUT COST SAVINGS: