Multirotors to Help Farmers with Crop Monitoring

The uses of multirotor systems has a vast spectrum from aerial photography to surveillance to even construction and contracting. But can these multirotor systems help out on the farm? The answer is yes! Multicopters have a big use in the agricultural industry and can provide farmers with ease of use while determining what to do about their crops.

California Unmanned Aerial Systems, a leader in the unmanned aerospace industry, is teaming up with Tetracam to make a system that is optimized to examine crops and help improve the management of the crops and production of the crops. Tetracam specialized in the production of multi-spectural imaging cameras and the software used to interpret the data seen by these imaging systems.

Tetracam already makes an imaging system that is ideal for farmers or biologists. This system monitors the plants visible spectrum and infrared spectrum. It then looks for subtle changes in this spectrum to determine the health of the plants, monitor plant growth, and also has many other functions used to help in the management of crops.

The system, called The Monarch, is a small unmanned aerial system that is powered by batteries and is equipped with Tetracam’s crop monitoring imaging systems. The Monarch is a remarkable tool and will replace the need for older and outdated methods of gathering such data about the crops while also saving time and money in the process.

Eileen Shibley, executive director of CalUAS, stated, “CalUAS is devoted to producing unmanned aircraft systems to meet the requirements of the precision agriculture community. We are pleased to be partnered with the company that invented and commercialized the first affordable multi-spectral digital cameras for agricultural sensing.”

This system can become the ‘must have’ for many major farms and even for smaller farms with less production of crops than the major suppliers. The reason for the need for such a system such as The Monarch has got to be the ease of use combined with the information that is provided, while at the same time, using technology to transition to a more cost effective way to monitor crops when compared to manned aircraft and satellite imaging.

This system could not have come at a better time. With a record drought in California, the need for precision watering of crops is a must and The Monarch system is the perfect system to accurately provide real time information on the crops health.

For more information on UAV’s being used in agriculture, click here

Nick Mehlig

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