Ro M

Wildlife Biology Research Drone Selection

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Hey Everyone! I was recently accepted into a wildlife biology master's program, and my project is going to focus on using UAV's for remote sensing of breeding wading bird colonies. I was asked to research which drone we should purchase for our study, and I've found a few likely candidates. My number one choice is the DJI inspire 2. Given the drones battery life, ability to fly autonomous transects, durability, speed, and ease of use, it seems like an easy pick. I had a question about the zenmuse x7 though. I plan to fly transects over the colonies at a height of around 30m, take dozens if not a couple hundred pictures, put them all together using a program like pix4d photogrammetry, and manually count and identify each species of bird in the colony. There will be fairly dense vegetation throughout the colony and the bird species in the study are 1.5-4ft in height (given the species in question). I will be using an airboat to get fairly close to the colonies. Which lens would work best given the conditions and purpose of the study? Do I need more than 1 lens if I lower the altitude to around 20M or raise the altitude to 40m?

 

I’ve also considered going with the Yuneec Typhoon H Plus. What are the pros and cons to choosing a Typhoon H Plus over an Inspire 2 (I know it performs better in windy conditions and has a longer battery life)? From what I’ve read, the inspire 2 has a better camera and lens selection. What are people’s ideas on this? And how does the autonomous flight and app compare to the Inspire 2

 

Thank you!

Ro

Edited by Ro M

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Don’t sleep on the mavic 2 pro. We use it near constantly with excellent results.... and you could almost buy 2 of them for the price of just the x7 camera. 

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I'd sure look at a Matrice M100 with 2 battery setup. That gives about 35 minute flight time. Then, an X5 or X7 camera with your choice of lenses. Brand new M100 is in the area of $3,200. Contact back with more questions.

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Hi, my advice would be, to stop playing with toys and start flying with the big boys. Want to stay in the air for 3 hours at a time? Reaching speeds of up to 120 km/ph? With a complete, proper ground station instead of just a transmitter? Sure it does not come cheap, that is what separates the pros from the kiddies club. Take a look at Vertical Systems Deltaquad VTOL UAV’s, they give you a selection of custom packages, with excellent FLIR camera, although you will need a multi-rotor, as well as a fixed wing rating, as well as a BVLOS rating (beyond visual line of sight), to fly one of these bad boys...https://www.deltaquad.com/

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I also wonder if the Mavic 2 Pro might meet your needs. I have both the Mavic 2 and the Inspire with Zenmuse X7, and end up choosing to use my Mavic 2 over the Inspire more than I thought I would. I do think it has all of the features yo mentioned as liking in the Inspire 2.

You can use apps like Litchi to set waypoints and fly autonomous same routes. The Mavic 2 Pro is easier/quicker to launch and set up, especially if you're doing it from an airboat. You also can get almost the same battery life as the Inspire 2 at 20-25 minutes, while also having to carry fewer batteries with you in the field (since the inspire 2 you need 2 batteries per flight).

If you need super SUPER high quality images and/or interchangeable lenses, then the Inspire 2 is still your better option. Not sure I can contribute to your focal length question as I haven't done much photo stitching. 

But the Mavic 2 is great.

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