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Local Northern Territory business, Central Drones has recently signed a deal with USA company, Micasense to bring their multispectral cameras to Australia. CEO of Central Drones, Kerry Heness believes that Micasense products are a game changer for the agricultural and land management industries. “The Micasense range of multispectral sensors are so advanced they can provide data to assist with water management, disease management in agriculture and even assist to identify early signs of plant stress by using different vegetation indices from from the visible and invisible spectral bands captured by these sensors.”
The use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) has revolutionised the way businesses can achieve useful data output from inspections. What was once only available to large companies employing aircraft and multiple staff can now be achieved with a much more affordable level allowing more business to access the information.
Multispectral cameras work by imaging different wavelengths of light. Professional multispectral cameras have multiple imagers, each with a special optical filter that allows only a precise set of light wavelengths to be captured by that imager. The output of the camera is a set of images for that particular wavelength which are then stitched together to create geographically accurate mosaics, with multiple layers for each wavelength.
By analysing the captured data, measurements ranging from determining the chlorophyll content of plant leaves through to identifying overwatered regions of a crop of area can be identified. The sensors are so sensitive, they can even determine the presence of disease within the plant before it takes hold and potentially causes irrevocable damage.
Whilst UAVs have been around for some time now, we are only just realising the opportunities and advantages they can afford us. Pairing them with the latest in multispectral sensor technology and utilising the data to assist in making better decisions makes better business sense.