Incorporating UAS and Drones

Incorporating UAS and Drones

Incorporating UAS and Drones. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Fruit Grower Report.

The FFA recently approved the use of drones for one Idaho ag operation opening the door to more use on farms and in orchards. Hermann Thoennissen, President of HTC International talks about how you can utilize these tools to help your operation.

THOENNISSEN: When we think of drones we think of weaponized, unmanned systems. Drones and unmanned aerial vehicles is just a temporary stage. It goes from unmanned aerial systems to unmanned systems and to fully autonomous systems. Fully autonomous systems means one machine talks to another and does things.

Imaging is the main use of drones at present.

THOENNISSEN: You have the options to take visible color which is basically nothing different than a picture you take a look at at home. You can take thermal images. You can take color infrareds You can take relative normalized differentiated vegetation index pictures. You can have calibrated NDVI and you have pictures which have change analysis. All of those you can later incorporate in your orchard management.

Thoennissen says using a drone in your orchard is a lot more than just flying and snapping pictures.

THOENNISSEN: You’ve got to have a laid out pass, take pictures at the precise locations if you want to have something you can work with. You need to understand a little more than just the basics of the cameras and the optics. A huge point is calibration of the camera. Without calibration, nothing works. It would be just like running your vehicle with the timing not functioning. It won’t work very well.

That’s today’s Fruit Grower Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network of the West.

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