Game of Drones: Farmers Look to Unmanned Aircraft to Monitor Crops

Drone Setup
Game of Drones ( AeroVironment )

If you’ve wondered how difficult it is to set up and operate an unmanned aerial vehicle, consider the Quantix hybrid drone. You can have it set up and moved to a field to start flying within five minutes, notes Matt Strein, director of business development for the company.

Along with ease of use, the Quantix covers a lot of ground quickly—up to 400 acres in 45 minutes, using a standard battery.

In the above video, you can see Strein demonstrate the ease of setting up the Quantix and then how it is set up in the field for take off. AeroVironment’s hybrid drone design for the Quantix has combined the ease of vertical take-off with the efficiency and range of a fixed-wing aircraft.

Once a flight is completed, you can review the results a couple of ways. One is by using the system’s “Quick Look” feature, which provides 10-inch to 12-inch resolution.

“I can look on the monitor immediately after the flight and see if there’s a problem, and then I can walk out into the field and ground truth it,” Strein says.

Drone setup

Along with Quick Look, you can also upload the data from the drone cameras to the company’s online Decision Support System for an in-depth look at potential problems. This approach provides you with a clear view of plants within a 1-inch resolution.

“You can see on a leaf tip whether there’s a disease problem in plants--that’s how close a view you can get,” Strein says.

Turnaround time for the data to be available for review is within 24 hours, and it’s often processed within only a few hours.

“Either way you choose to evaluate results, you can gain information to make in-season agronomic decisions quickly,” Strein says.

He adds that the Decision Support System meets the rigors of today’s farming and is turnkey, including the drone, embedded sensors and analytics package.

For more information on the Quantix, click here to find a retail dealer in your area. Or, email Matt Strein at [email protected].