What We Do

AgAerial Images provide high resolution, geo-referenced precise calibrated NDVI, NDRE, RGB (true colour) and thermal* digital and printed maps for use by agriculture’s growers and agronomists at short notice, when they need it. 

These maps are backed up by initial analysis and paddock visit by an agronomist at no extra cost if required.

We supply these maps at a very reasonable price, transferred directly to your computer folder, Dropbox, BSB stick and/or printed on tough PVC material.

In addition we can take soil and tissue samples under recognised guidelines to be analysed by CSBP Laboratories, (a CERTIFIED ASPAC Laboratory) and with a Pro Ag Consulting Premium Report and Integrated Fertiliser Management recommendation by Pro AG consultant Bryan McLeod.

Variable Rate application. We provide SHP files for variable rate application for spreaders, sprayers or seeding equipment at 10 or 20 metre or any resolution you require, The number of rate zones can vary from 3 right up to 32.

Agriculture’s growers and agronomists need as much data as is available to be able to make good consistent decisions. Labour is at a premium and anything that will shorten the time you need to be in the field and still have a good grasp go the situation must be an essential addition to your toolkit.

AgAerial Images will retain a copy of the raw data collected by the UAV for two years from date of flight. After that it can be retained or deleted according to your wishes. We will not share your data with anyone except where you have requested us to in writing or email, or except when required to by law.

*Thermal available in 2019

Remote Sensing Using UAVs

What is Remote Sensing Technology?

  1. Remote sensing in Agriculture is the process of obtaining information about an area or a crop through the analyzing of data collected by a given sensor, and which is collected remotely.
  2. Remote sensing technology is designed to collect and retrieve large amounts of data regarding an area, crop or phenomenon. The data could be about various aspects of the area or crop including crop health, spacial variation of potential yield, locating problem areas, and/or its precise position on the earth’s surface.
  3. Ground-truthing is required, by an agronomist or grower, to analyse and interpret  the variations found within the  crop. Remote Sensing data on its own  is of little use.
  4. Remote Sensing reduces manual field work dramatically. Remote sensing technology relies upon sensors to collect data over large areas which reduce the manual work that could otherwise have required a lot of persons or time to accomplish.
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Advantages of remote sensing via Drone

  1. Large area coverage: Remote sensing allows detailed and timely surveys of large areas of crops in minute detail allowing identification of problems which may be overlooked in a normal paddock inspection (or not visible in satellite data), because of lack of personnel or time. Using a digital or printed map to pinpoint areas of concern allows an agronomist or grower to save time by concentrating on indicated problem areas.
  2. Remote sensing allows repetitive coverage of spacial variability in crops, irrigation and water distribution. Comparison of a series of images will show changes over time of the results of addition of treatments, early indication of weed or insect infestation, or development of other problems as they occur.

Possible disadvantages of remote sensing via drone

  1. Without correct preparation the sensors used may be un-calibrated which may lead to inaccurate data and incorrect decisions. AgAerial calibrates the multispectral sensor using known values of small areas measured by Greenseeker Crop Sensor. Frequent measurement of small areas within the field by an industry approved Chlorophyll meter is also used to calibrate both the Greenseeker NDVI and the multispectral sensor.
  2. Technically competent operators with a thorough knowledge of the equipment are required  to select what sensor needs to be used to collect the data, specify the resolution of the data and calibration of the sensor, select the platform that will carry the sensor and with assistance of agronomists determine when the data will be collected. Because of this, it is easier to introduce human error in this kind of analysis, and requires more than just a knowledge of how to fly a drone.
  3. if an analysis of the images is not included with the imagery remote sensing may be a relatively expensive method of analysis . AgAerial Images includes a preliminary analysis and paddock visit by an agronomist (if required) in the initial cost. 
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NDVI typical reflectance spectrum

What Is an NDVI Image?

Reflectance and Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI).

Plants have low reflectance in the blue and red portions of the spectrum because of chlorophyll absorbtion, with slightly higher reflectance in the green (so plants appear green to our eyes). But healthy plants are able to reflect almost all of the infrared energy from the sun’s rays.

Spectral reflectance of a plant varies considerably in the near infrared, and visible red ranges of the electromagnetic spectrum. (Figure 1). Near infrared radiant energy is strongly reflected from the plant (crop) surface and the amount of this reflectance is determined by the properties of the leaf tissues.

The NDVI is successful in detecting the degree of photosynthetic activity. Plant photosynthetic activity is determined by chlorophyll content and activity thus NDVI is a measure of the degree of plant productivity.

The physical characteristics detected by the index are indicators of variations in environmental factors such as nutrient status, soil moisture and condition.
The relationship between leaf chlorophyll and leaf N has been demonstrated for many crops amongst which are wheat, maize, rice.

However, rather than exclusively reflecting the effect of one parameter, NDVI has to be considered as a measurement of combined plant growth that reflects various plant growth factors.

If you would like more information click here

WebsitePVC Maps AgAerial

Maps printed on PVC

From the digital maps we can print a map, including a scale detailing values, percent and area of each zone, plus if required, average Index Values of multiple areas, eg trials or bays.
This is printed on tough flexible vinyl in sizes 120 cm x 120 cm, 60 x 60 cm or 30 x 30 cm.

If you would like more information click here

 

SequoiacameraSunshineSensorWebsite

Sequoia Multispectral Camera and Sunshine Sensor

This is the most important part of the system. The camera has 5 lens each capturing a separate narrow band or wavelength. The bands are Green, Red, Rededge, Near Infrared(NIR) and RGB at 16MP. These bands are essential for accurate and repeatable Vegetation Index calculation. The Sunshine sensor measures the light and calibrates the camera for changes in sunlight during the flight.

What spectral bands does the Sequoia camera capture?

Sequoia captures 4 discrete spectral bands (Green, Red, RedEdge, NIR) and 3 non-discrete spectral bands (as part of the RGB imager).

Within the discrete spectral bands…

Green corresponds to the reflected energy in the 530–570 nm spectral band. It is interesting to note that, out of the entire visible spectrum, the greatest reflectance of a plant is in this band. The reflectance peak is at around 550 nm. This spectral band is often strongly correlated with leaf chlorophyll content.

Red corresponds to the reflected energy in the 640–680 nm spectral band. The strong absorption in this band results in low reflectance. Reflectance varies significantly in relation to factors such as biomass, LAI, soil minerals, humidity and plant stress. For most crops this band gives an excellent contrast between the plants and the soil and it is extensively used for compiling most of the vegetation indices in agriculture

Red Edge is a very narrow band (730–740 nm) that corresponds to the rapid change from low Red reflectance to high Near Infrared reflectance. This band is very sensitive to plant stress and provides information on the chlorophyll and nutrient status of plants. Moreover, an increase in the reflectance of this band often results when a plant is under nutrient stress.

Near Infrared, which corresponds to the wavelengths in the 770 nm to 810 nm range, has the strongest reflectance of the bands studied. This band is sensitive to plant vigor and crop type. Pigments such as chlorophyll do not influence the Near Infrared so it is often used to normalize chlorophyll-sensitive wavebands. Moreover, a reduction of the reflectance in this band results when a plant is under stress. Along with the Red spectral band, Infrared is extensively used for compiling most of the vegetation indices in agriculture.

Irrigation channels mapped in RGB colour with NDVI overlaid

Irrigation channels mapped in colourRGB and overlaid with the NDVI of growth in and along channel banks, allowing for easy spraying of weeds.

IrrigChannelWeeds

Mapping weeds in and along Channels

A single flight captures both Hi-resolution geo-located image of the channel and banks and NDVI image maps weed growth along and in the channel. 20-30 km of channel can be mapped in a day

If you would like more information on irrigation channels and structures read more

Trimble GNSS receiver for Improved accuracy of Maps

AgAerial Maps are accurate to less than one meter allowing accurate ground-truthing. This allows you to return to within one meter of a dropped pin on your map, for soil samples and tissue testing. Uncorrected maps could be many meters out which is a problem if you would like to retest at a particular site. Inaccurate NDVI maps and SHP files could mean inaccurate variable rate application of treatments. Ground Control Points are positioned using a Trimble GNSS receiver which offers sub meter accuracy using Trimble correction signals via internet. Ten Centimeter level mapping is available but most likely unnecessary for agricultural maps

Trimble Greenseeker

“The Greenseeker machine works on reflection of light from the chlorophyll (green part of the leaves), the healthier the plant the higher the reading.” “The high value of using Greenseeker technology in making informed in-crop decisions is critical to efficient farming practices. The decision(s) as to what inputs should be implemented and the greatest return is crucial to the profitability of farming.” The full summary of this CWFS trial can be found at……

Variable Rate Application SHP files

Variable Rate application. We provide SHP files for variable rate application for spreaders, sprayers or seeding equipment at 10 or 20 metre or any resolution you require, The number of rate zones can vary from 3 right up to 32.

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