Local drones ROAM the skies during drought
Exeter – The latest technology to assist farmers with the ongoing drought is being developed in Exeter.
All Drone Solutions, an Exeter-based company specializing in remote control hexicopter drones, demonstrated and launched its ROAM (Remotely Operated Agriculture Mapping) solution for growers and agronomists this week at the World Ag Expo.
The local company has teamed up with industry leaders in remote sensing and image analysis to create a turnkey solution to precision agriculture drone-based mapping. The industry standard has been using standard consumer RGB (ordinary color) cameras that have been modified to collect the data required to make vegetation index maps such as Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). Owner Mark Hull debuted his drones through a demonstration at last year’s World Ag Expo using a standard camera modified for NDVI.
“We take our data beyond NDVI,” Hull said. “ROAM works world wide, but our focus is currently on creating solutions and tools for California growers battling our current drought and limits to strict water usage.”
The ROAM system uses a true multispectral camera. And, it includes the industry’s only multi-parameter image analyses that can be carried out on-site on local laptop computers. This means that the farmer or consultant can fly the drone and make important decisions the same day. This gets around the problem of poor access to Cloud-based services, which offer only “black box” processing … processing that often leaves information behind. ROAM puts the power of information-from-imagery into the hands of the consultant or farmer.
“Full turnkey solutions are available with hardware and software produced right here in Exeter, California,” Hull said.
The full ROAM system includes a drone, a five-band multispectral camera, a ground station, a laptop computer, and all of the required software. The one-of-a-kind system allows farmers or consultants to take advantage of state-of-the-art agriculture mapping capabilities and be able to provide timely maps to farmers on the same day of the flight. ROAM™ is also the only system available that allows for consulting and custom processing of the maps they create.
“The accurately calibrated data that the multispectral camera collects allows us to offer map processing options that go beyond just the making of an NDVI map,” Hull said. “So you, the customer, are not stuck with only those options being presented by Cloud-based services.” ROAM™ takes crop mapping to the next level by helping farmers with activities such as early detection of developing problems in their fields, specific disease detection, plant inventory, growth and change mapping, and other precision farming applications. ROAM™ products also include other GIS items such as digital surface models, point-cloud data (.LAS files), terrain elevation maps, and plant/tree height maps.
With their slogan “The sky is no longer the limit!,” All Drone Solutions’ mission is to collaborate with the highest of quality hardware companies and the most advanced software engineers to bring a Turn-Key solution that is not only safe but easy to use for any farmer or consultant. Their drone packages are custom built to fit each of their customer’s unique needs. All Packages include a lesson in safe flying habits and a detailed course in the complete operation of the drone and its features to ensure each customer’s success and complete satisfaction.
All Drone Solutions can be found in Building C Booth 3816 at the World Ag Expo in Tulare. For more information about the company, contact owner Mark Hull by calling 559-592-4880 or visiting www.AllDroneSolutions.com .