September 1, 2021
Vertical Technologies, a global provider of advanced vertical takeoff-and-landing (VTOL) unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), has announced a partnership with Agrowing, which develops dual-purpose AI-enabled multispectral sensors. The partnership will introduce the next level of drone-based high-resolution multispectral mapping technology through the DeltaQuad VTOL UAV.
The integrated solution of Agrowing’s 10-band high-resolution sensor with Vertical Technologies’ DeltaQuad VTOL UAV brings the standard for commercial multispectral mapping up from 2 to 3.5 megapixels to 12 megapixels, which improves data analysis options as well as efficiency of multspectral mapping operations. The solution can also be equipped with a swappable lens for high-performance, 61-megapixel RGB mapping.
The DeltaQuad Pro long-range VTOL UAV combined with the Agrowing A7RivQuad covers up to 900 hectares (2,200 acres) with a multispectral resolution of 5 CM per pixel, or 220 hectares (540 acres) with a multispectral resolution of 1.2 CM per pixel. The 61-megapixel RGB sensor covers up to 1,200 hectares (3,000 acres) at 3 CM per pixel in a single flight, the companies added.
Features of the new system include:
- 4x to 6x higher resolution compared to alternative multispectral sensors;
- 6x to 8x more area coverage compared to other UAV solutions;
- Live video stream of mapping footage for real-time quality assurance;
- Sub CM level position accuracy through PPK georeferencing;
- The ability to perform deep AI analysis by acquiring 0.5mm per pixel multispectral closeups;
- The ability to swap lenses to perform 61-megapixel RGB mapping on the same camera and UAV.
The Agrowing A7RivQuad sensor is based on a modified Sony A7Riv full-spectrum camera body, equipped with Agrowing 10 narrow spectral band multispectral lens. The AI-enabled sensor acquires 10 narrow 24nm to 30nm wide bands of 12-megapixels per band. Based on a single mount, single sensor, a mechanical shutter, and Sony’s BSI CMOS sensor of extreme dynamic range, the multispectral sensor can overcome multispectral acquisition typical issues of synchronization and chroma aberration, Agrowing said.
“Growers no longer suffice with vague survey results, telling them which area of the field is stressed or outlying,” said Ira Dvir, CEO of Agrowing. “They do not want to have to go into the field and check what is the nature or reason for the stress. In many cases, like when the cotton/corn is high or the pineapples are mature, it is difficult to go into the field. Growers need actionable data as soon as possible, to minimize damages and prevent diseases from spreading. They need definite detection and identification of the findings. By combining our sensor with the DeltaQuad platform, we can now offer this at a large scale.”
“The Agrowing multispectral sensor will radically change the usefulness of UAVs for precision farming,” said Douwe Zeeman, CEO of Vertical Technologies. “We have seen the market for multispectral solutions grow steadily in the last few years, but its true potential has not yet been revealed. The combined solution will start to unlock this potential by providing truly high resolution multispectral data at a very large scale.”