MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — Sentera today launched its Incident Light Sensor for use on NDVI-Upgraded DJI Phantom 4 and Phantom 3 drones. By calibrating normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) lighting, the Incident Light Sensor offers agronomists, crop consultants, and growers a more accurate way to compare images of the same area, captured over time.

Calculating absolute vegetation health regardless of cloud cover or timing lets the user focus on results and make in-field decisions with unquestionably accurate data.

"NDVI data captured in uniform lighting conditions, while ideal, is not always possible," said Kris Poulson, vice president of agriculture for Sentera. "Sentera's Incident Light Sensor augments our current True NDVI sensor offering by instantly equalizing the light captured with an NDVI sensor. This is especially helpful for users who battle unpredictable weather patterns, have large fields to manage, or who simply want to have the most comparable data available today."

The new sensor calibrates lighting for common variances including shifting clouds, fluctuating sunlight intensity, time lapses between flights, and sensor position. Normalizing these deviations helps users more accurately identify stressed, or troubled areas of a field, allowing them to make instant and accurate input decisions.

Consistent lighting is critical to capturing accurate NDVI data. Poulson continued, "Variances identified in calibrated NDVI data indicate a true change, meaning a physical or chemical change in the plant or crop, not a variance due to an atmospheric condition or position of the sensor."

Capturing NDVI imagery with Sentera's Incident Light Sensor provides users with day-to-day, hour-to-hour and minute-to-minute data set comparisons. Every pixel of calibrated NDVI data flows into Sentera's AgVault Software for in-field action while seamlessly flowing off the farm as needed. 

Sentera's Incident Light Sensor can be installed on new or existing DJI Phantom drones with an NDVI Upgrade and easily attaches to the outside of the platform. The AgVault Mobile application knows to account for the additional sensor, automatically performing algorithms to adjust lighting.

The system will be available at the end of April 2017.