Agricultural Applications of drones
You can read all over the internet how drones are bringing value to agriculture. If you'd like a more in-depth analysis of how UAVs are being used in agriculture, we recommend you check out our two webinar sessions on the subject!
NDVI & ELEVATION MODELS
Normalized Difference Vegetation Index
It's not just the latest "buzz" word - it is a proven method to identify and pinpoint exactly where your crops may be experiencing difficulties using drone crop imagery.
Our fleet includes the DJI Phantom 4 Professional, DJI Inspire 1, and AgEagle fixed-wings. Each of our UAVs is use-specific, allowing us to collect data of any size, anywhere.
NDVI can help you identify areas suffering from water stress, malnutrition, and pests.
Disease, insects, fungus, weeds. They're all pests!
NDVI is actionable data you can use! It uses the reflected near-infrared light from leaves as they undergo photosynthesis to provide an accurate index of relative health, reproduced by applying algorithms with specialized computer software to yield a red-yellow-green color spectrum for easier understanding.
M3 Aerial Productions uses Agronomists to analyze and help prescribe solutions for your crops.
DIGITAL ELEVATION MODELS
M3 Aerial Productions is capable of using UAVs to gather RTK Digital Elevation Models of terrain that is accurate to within 5cm vertical uncertainty.
Using Propeller Aeropoints smart GPS-enabled Ground Control Points, we are able to provide our customers with a DEM and NDVI crop health analysis report in the same flight.
The DEM (right) is representative of a field near Winnipeg, Manitoba. Colours range from blue to red, indicating a change in elevation of 8.5m including the ditching
NDVI imagery is being used to help farmers identify the extent of damage to their crops. In the image below, you can see a wheat crop (bottom green) bordering a soybean crop. Spray drifting from the wheat has affected the growth of the soybeans, however, quite difficult to see on the ground. The NDVI image shows a clearly defined edge to the extent of the spray's effect on the soybeans.
From this image, ground-truthing can be using to determine the difference in yield from the yellow and the orange colours. From that, we can calculate a percentage loss associated with the spray damage.
NDVI was originally developed by NASA and has, until very recently, been utilized in agriculture exclusively using satellite imagery or via high-altitude manned aircraft. The problem with satellites is that they are so far away that the resolution of the images is very low.
Satellites are generally able to capture NDVI images precise to the nearest 5-10 meters or so. One pixel in the picture represents 25-100 square meters. There can be a great deal of variation within an area that size. With our UAVs, the resolution is one pixel per 4 cm.
Satellites are also affected by cloud, which prevents useful data from being collected. UAVs can operate quickly and efficiently, called upon at a near-moment's notice to collect data when it counts!
We are working with companies across the Canadian Prairies to help integrate UAV solutions into their operations. Whether you are a John Deere outfitter, or a seed or chemical retailer, we can provide your team with the services and training to provide your clients with the best information from the latest technology available.