Swiss mini-drone manufacturer senseFly has officially introduced its new eBee Ag fully autonomous aerial imaging drone (or UAV) for precision ag applications.
As a fully autonomous drone, customers simply select the area they want to map (using the supplied eMotion 2 software), launch the drone by throwing it into the air, and the eBee flies, acquires images, and lands all by itself.
According to the company's website, the listed flight time is up to 45 minutes and it can photograph an area up to 2,470 ac in that time.
Its default 12 MP Canon S110 NIR camera is capable of shooting aerial imagery at down to 0.7 in / pixel. These images are then easily transformed into false-colour orthomosaics using Postflight Terra 3D software, with accuracy of down to ~1 in. This market-leading performance brings farmers the data they need to monitor crops more precisely, feed other precision agriculture technologies, and continue improving their management decisions.
The eBee Ag features a range of camera options to suit different applications, from biomass estimation to yield monitoring and leaf area indexing. It is supplied with a customized NIR, however customers can also choose a customised S110 RE (red edge) version, a S110 RGB, or the Airinov multiSPEC 4C (offering four distinct bands with no spectral overlap).
The eBee Ag is supplied with two advanced software packages: eMotion 2 for flight planning and control; and Postflight Terra 3D photogrammetry software for post-flight image processing and analysis. Postflight Terra 3D can be used to produce false-colour orthomosaics and 3D models. Plus it includes a handy index computation tab, which allows customers to select a band, calculate NDVI, or input custom formulas in order to create the exact maps they require.
The eBee Ag is available to order from mid-April, 2014 via senseFly’s network of approved resellers (see http://www.senseFly.com/about/where-to-buy.html).