Trimble targets ag sector with UAV system

01.22.14ux5

Trimble Navigation said Tuesday it added its UX5 unmanned aircraft system (UAS) to its agriculture product portfolio for aerial imaging and mapping.

The Trimble UX5 system allows agronomists, Trimble resellers, water management contractors, and other ag service providers to capture aerial images for scouting and monitoring crop health, including pest and invasive weed detection and deficiencies in nitrogen. The system can also generate topographic maps and models for land leveling and drainage applications. One novel application for ranchers is using the UX5 to locate cattle and available forage over large areas.

The UX5 can fly up to 80 kilometers per hour and remains stable in significant crosswinds and even light rain, Trimble said. In a single 50-minute flight, the UX5 system can cover a two-square-kilometer area at five-centimeter image resolution. The system also includes a modified digital camera that captures the near-infrared spectrum to help deduce vegetation indexes for crop health assessment.

The post-flight processed images from just one flight includes geo-referenced images, a digital surface model (DSM) showing elevations as a color image, and a 3D point cloud that includes elevations.

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