Spitfire76

Choice of drones for precision agriculture.

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I thought this article was interesting on the choice of drones for precision agriculture.

http://bestdroneforthejob.com/drones-for-work/agriculture-drone-buyers-guide/

The choice of using a fixed wing drone over a multi-rotor makes sense as they need less power providing longer flight times and typically there is no need to hover but rather to keep moving taking pictures of the ground.

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I think there is going to be rapid advances in this area. A lot of the current solutions aren't as good as the consumer grade stuff right now. Lots of people doing the ag stuff now are strapping/hacking/taping different cameras and sensors to the planes. Whoever comes out with an integrated multispectral integrated camera is going to make a lot of people happy.

There still is a place for multirotors in this area. If the crop is small enough / in a hilly or hard to get to area, a multirotor is going to be a better bet (think vineyard). Typically with fixed wings you will have to fly a bit higher or not be able to fit easily into a few other constraints. 

A year ago, fixed winged seemed like a much easier sell. This is when the P2 was getting 15-18 minutes of flight time and it required a bit of work to get anything beyond 20. With flight times slowly going up, and lots of camera options to mount on the bottom + ease of use, there still is a time/place for multi-rotors. 

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I think there will be a significant market for more substantial fixed wing drones in years to come. Just imagine this: rather like military operations and once drone ops are properly integrated into national airspace systems, we could fly bigger data gathering missions from a single fixed base. Here in the UK I could maximise my available flying days by covering whole counties and many arable farms in one mission. This will in turn reduce costs to client farmers / agronomists / crop scientists. 

Multi rotors could then just be used for local pin pointing missions etc. 

Just a thought...

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This is one area that I am really interested in. We have a lot of farms not far from where I live.

Being a farmer once, I would like to help them out. To bad the Blade Chroma 1080p is not on the list of UAVs to use for agriculture farming.

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I know this is kind of an old post but thought i would throw my 2 cents in...

I started out researching fixed wing just for Agriculture scouting and crop health.  In my time I have shifted from being just fixed wing to utilizing a quad.  Yes I won't have near the flight time or acres covered, but with my limited budget at the moment fixed wing is just too expensive at least the ready to fly units (never have built my own).  Also, with owning a multi-rotor I can use it for more than just Agriculture but let my services be utilized by realtors or inspectors, fixed wing won't work nearly as well.  In a perfect world I would and eventually will own both a fixed wing and a multi-rotor to use in the fields.  

Now my problem is just figuring out which copter to use....leanings towards the matrice 100 with dual battery and the sequoia should be able to get quite a few acres covered.

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I've built one of each to play with. 

My plan was to test with the same flight controller in the fixed wing that I'm using in my quad, that way the only cost to try fixed wing was the air frame, motor, and some servos in addition to what I already have on hand. 

If it goes well down the line I'll grab a second receiver and flight controller setup for the fixed wing, then I can bind the radio to whichever aircraft I like.  

 

 

 

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As you may know the Pixhawk is no longer in stock at 3DR so clones are the only choice at the moment. Apparently they are planing on releasing a Pixhawk Mini to replace it sometime soon. 

Edited by Spitfire76

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Precision Hawk's Lancaster turned out to be really easy to use. Swappable sensors are plug and play. Software allows you to resume a survey after a battery change.  Services like datamapper/precisionmapper or farm solutions makes it easy to analyse the data. 

None the less I am leaving the agriculture market so I'm selling my Lancasters.

See my post in the classified>for sale forum for more info

 

 

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If you don't mind sharing, are you changing your focus on a different aspect of the drone market or are you leaving the drone market all together?

 

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