CHESEAUX-SUR-LAUSANNE, Switzerland — Swiss professional drone maker, senseFly, has confirmed that Parrot’s Sequoia multispectral sensor — announced at the World Ag Expo in Tulare, Calif., and due to launch in March 2016 — will be immediately available for its eBee Ag drone.
Sequoia is a small, light multispectral UAS sensor. It captures images of crops across four highly defined, visible and non-visible spectral bands, plus RGB imagery. In one flight, agronomists, crop consultants and farmers can capture all the aerial data required to monitor and respond to the health of crops throughout the growing season.
“eBee Ag users will be able to benefit immediately from Sequoia’s cutting-edge performance,” said Jean-Christophe Zufferey, CEO and co-founder of senseFly. “This will allow them to collect more actionable crop data than ever before, over much larger areas than multi-rotor drones can cover.”
Sequoia's range of benefits:
1. Multispectral + RGB in one flight
Sequoia includes four 1.2 MP sensors that capture data over four spectral bands (near-infrared, red-edge, red and green), plus a 16 MP RGB sensor, allowing both analytical data and visible imaging to be captured in the same flight. With this spectral breadth and the eBee Ag’s ease of use, up to hundreds of acres of actionable data can be collected.
This data can then be integrated into the eBee’s full drone-to-tractor workflow. Using photogrammetry software such as Pix4Dmapper, Sequoia’s high-res imagery can be processed into orthophotos and index maps showing crop health. After careful analysis, these can be transformed into optimized application maps and exportable prescriptions — helping farmers to apply exactly the right amount of water or chemicals needed to boost yields and increase net profit.
2. Accurate results across different lighting conditions
To make effective business decisions, such as how much nitrogen to apply, it is crucial to attain accurate imagery, whatever the light conditions. Sequoia’s upward-facing Sunshine sensor measures irradiance — the current light conditions — and automatically calibrates Sequoia’s multispectral sensors to ensure high quality data even on cloudy or hazy days, for consistent measurements over time, and without the need to use a calibration tile before flight.
3. Scientific grade measurement at a fraction of the cost
Sequoia will cost significantly less than existing multispectral UAS sensors, bringing scientific-grade aerial imaging within reach of more ag professionals around the world.
4. Seamless integration with eBee Ag
Customers will be able to purchase the eBee Ag with Sequoia, existing eBee Ag users will be able to use Sequoia with their systems**, and in the future, Sequoia owners who fly non-senseFly drones will gain a simple upgrade path.
5. Customised data capture
The eBee Ag’s eMotion software enables Sequoia owners to specify exactly the level of data they require: choose between high- or low-resolution imagery, and whether or not RGB data is required alongside Sequoia’s multispectral results.
Sequoia contains 64 GB of internal storage plus external (SD card) storage for full data flexibility. It is expected to be released in March 2016.