The UAV is an octocopter, a standard 8 rotor battery powered unmanned aerial vehicle, as typically used in the film industry. Four cameras have been added, two of which at any time can give a live feed of their picture to a monitor on the ground. One camera, which can take videos and stills is on a fixed mounting, pointing forwards, and is used to identify where the camera is flying. The other three cameras are all mounted on a stabilized platform which can be tilted remotely from the transmitter, and comprise a high definition RGB camera, a thermal infrared camera and a hyper spectral camera.
Rothamsted Research, one of the UK’s top tillage research centres, has obtained a high performance radio remote-controlled helicopter, octocopter, drone equipped with four distinct cameras.The custom-built equipment will enable high-throughput collection of data from experimental crop plots at each of the Institute’s sites as well as at collaborating organisations’ trials. Collection of data with this method will give unique perspectives on crop growth and plant functioning, and will vastly extend capabilities for screening crops of different genetic background for performance, nutrition, stress, pathogen and disease responses.