In 2013, Lehmann Aviation, which is based in France, launched its LA300—a fully automatic personal drone/UAV working with a Windows8 tablet and designed for professional applications such as crops volume and surface calculations. It is a good alternative to long and often less precise on-the-ground measurements.

Lehmann announced its LA3000 has aerial monitoring applications like other UAVs on the market but claims one of the lowest cost with scientific capabilities.  As with most UAVs being introduced, detection of pests or weather damage and nutrient of plants are main uses. Lehmann has included a Canon S110 NIR camera as the payload.

The company says the LA300 is a fully automatic professional UAV. To get useful NIR images, the user has to accomplish simple steps with easy video training. A flight path can be made by simply drawing on a touch screen of a Windows8 device with the area of interest and entering waypoints. After that the software will automatically generate the mission. The data is transmitted to the UAV by WI-FI. The UAV is hand launched, and as an aerial robot the UAV will come back to any chosen point with HD images or video on the SD card. The images GeoTag each image after the flight (with LAT/LONG/ALT/YAW/PITCH/ROLL  information

The pictures then can be processed in a specific software in order to get the needed data. Canon S110 will provide Green, Red and NIR band data. NIR data is used by indices such as NDVI to assess plant concentration and health, commonly indicated by high levels of reflectance in the NIR region.

The LA300 flies at a range of up to 15 kilmeters, at speeds of 20-80 kilmeters per hour. It also can be flown in harsh environments, between -25 °C up to +60 °C (-13 °F up to 140 °F), with winds up to 35 km/h. The LA300 weighs 950 grams (including Nokia Lumia 1020 or GoPro Hero3+ camera), with a wingspan of 92 centimeters and the length of 45 cm.

L-A Series Video is available by clicking here.

And the website for Lehmann Aviation is available by clicking here.