Just a few years ago, no one had a clue what a drone was, but things changed quickly. This technology is now among the most highly publicized in the world.
Farmers have always needed accurate and up-to-date information on the health of their crops and the environmental condition of the land. Farm planes have been in use since the 1920s, and agricultural experts are increasingly using satellite imagery.
Although it is unlikely that UAVs will completely replace pilot aircraft or satellites, they have a number of advantages. Their technology allows them to collect very high resolution and much more detailed imagery below the cloud layer. They are easy to use, and data collection is now completely automated. In addition, data processing instruments are more affordable and easy to use.
Agriculture is using more and more drones for different missions of analysis, control, monitoring or treatment. The simplest mission of control and monitoring of crops and to have a more or less detailed global view of the different plots, to easily visualize their levels of evolution and growth due to lack or absence of fertilizer, to detect degradations made by wild animals, diseases or others, in order to be able to remedy it as quickly as possible.
The service we offer is a diagnostic service that then allows via the analysis of data, to recommend the most suitable solutions to maximize the quality of production and its performance.
In fact it is for the farmer to have at his disposal an agronomic diagnosis (and sometimes a report) on all of his crop and his plots, which takes into account the heterogeneity of plots, the diversity of situations from one plot to another and even within the same plot It is then possible to modulate and adapt the needs of the farmer (inputs, irrigation …).
The drone is the very tool of precision agriculture, so much the results obtained after it flew over the fields are at the same time precise, exact and speaking for the farmer. It is in the very complex processing of image data, combined with other external data, that the entire “drone system genius” is located. And it is from these results that we can make recommendations.
Applications are diverse and adapt to harvest types and customer needs:
• Diagnosis of the state of your plantations
• Aerial mapping by drone
• Simulation and harvest forecasting
• Studies prior to setting up a plantation or a farm
• Prescription and phytosanitary treatment
• Assistance, monitoring and management for your operations
It is therefore mainly a support tool and a decision support service.
Observation of water stress
What can aerial images taken by drones bring? It is in fact to acquire thermal images (thermal infrared) and images in the visible and near infrared, to detect the level of stress. To do this, a WDI (Water Deficit Index) stress index is calculated by comparing the evapotranspiration obtained by the image with a standard observed in the field.
Detect diseases and parasitic attacks
Two methods of observation are possible: to observe the symptoms that can be developed by the disease such as the loss of dry matter (reduction of the biomass perceived by the sensors) – but one would have to be sure to be able to attribute this loss to the disease – or observe the color change of the plant. A very different solution is to detect the disease thanks to the spectral signature: a sick plant will have its signature modified because of the pathologies
These aircraft are equipped with multi spectral sensors. Algorithms that enable point-to-point diagnosis within plots (biomass, nitrogen nutrition …) and lead to recommendations and modulation of nitrogen inputs.
Combating deforestation and illegal logging
In the face of illegal deforestation, communities are organizing to monitor and defend their territories and natural resources. The drone is for them a real opportunity. This allows them to monitor their land in real time and record compelling visual evidence of illegal land use.