Part 1: Introduction to Vegetation Indices and Pix4D By Jacob Nederend MSc Candidate, Department of Plant Agriculture, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, Canada What is a vegetation index and why can’t I just use NDVI? In the previous post, I provided a general overview of how to obtain high quality orthomosaics from your eBee’s raw … Continued
Drones For Forestry Applications
Drone technology suits a huge and ever expanding range of conservation and environmental science applications—offering quick and efficient aerial imagery, on demand.There are many reasons why professionals such as environmental engineers and scientific researchers are increasingly using drones, often in places of terrestrial surveying equipment or traditional aerial imaging services. The use of UAVs allows forest owners to have rapid, flexible, and customized inventory projects from which accurate data is produced for planning the forestry activities.
A drone can be launched on demand—weather and regulation permitting—without needing to source and book manned aircraft services (if these exist in the region) or purchase and wait for satellite imagery.
A UAV produces completely up-to-date imagery. This makes drones suited to time sensitive projects and for monitoring locations at regular intervals (i.e. using the same flight plan each time).
Unlike traditional surveying techniques, using a drone is fast and requires minimal staff, plus using an aerial approach overcomes common site access issues such as impenetrable vegetation, boulders, crevasses etc
Used regularly, the per-project cost of a professional drone system is typically lower than third-party alternatives such as manned imaging aircraft, with a drone system often paying for itself in as little as a few months or a few large projects.
Small and light electric-powered drones, especially fixed-wing aircraft, make little noise and are often bird-shaped, meaning animals on the ground are rarely disturbed by these tools, if they notice them at all. Rotary (helicopter) drone systems are best suited to monitoring and charting smaller areas, enabling operators to capture video imagery and respond to this feedback live, while fixed-wing UAVs—such as senseFly’s eBee—allow users to map larger areas in a single autonomous flight.
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Toronto-based Deveron UAS Corp., an enterprise drone data services company focused on agriculture, has commenced flying for this year’s farming season in Canada. Deveron says it is focused on revenue-generating and research-driven drone data collection for the growing season in western and eastern Canada as it continues to build an on-demand, enterprise data collection network … Continued
Unmanned aerial vehicle technology has advanced to the point that an RTK-equipped drone with elevation accuracy of plus or minus five centimetres can find the best route for water across a field.