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Q200 Water Resource

The Environmental Institute of Houston have obtained their FAA approval for the QuestUAV AQUA drone for flights

The Environmental Institute of Houston have obtained their FAA approval for the QuestUAV AQUA drone for flights

 

After a successful application round, the EIH and the QuestUAV AQUA drone have been awarded FAA approval to fly missions within the United States for research and mapping. A process that started in August 2015 has concluded and work has begun to collect data for ongoing research projects.

Environmental Institute of Houston

Shallow Reef Mapping

Mapping shallow reefs is usually impeded by navigation and the inability to use traditional survey methods. The use of UAV photography combined with digital image processing techniques provide more effective way for mapping and assessing these reefs. The project aims to map the physical extent and conditions of intertidal oyster reefs for assessing the current status of oyster population and hard bottom habitat within an estuary as well as to provide information needed for ongoing oyster conservation and restoration efforts. The study site is located in Bastrop Bay near the city of Houston, Texas.

Shallow Reef Mapping in Bastrop Bay
Shallow Reef Mapping in Bastrop Bay

 

Environmental Institue of Houston - EIH

The University of Houston-Clear Lake established the Environmental Institute of Houston (EIH) in 1991 to address regional issues of environmental concern. Since then, the institute has become a leader in building partnerships in research, education and outreach.

Environmental Institute of Houston


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Pineapple Plantation

Photogrammetry Dramatically Increases Lifetime of Worlds Largest Pineapple Plantation | QuestUAV News

UAV Image Interpretation Dramatically Increases the Lifetime of the World’s Largest Pineapple Plantation

Soil Erosion Reduced by a Factor of Almost Thirty, Ensuring Fruit Cultivation for the Next 100 Years

Key Achievements

Scientific photographs taken from Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, like the QuestUAV Agri-Pro system, and processed with Pix4D are a powerful tool to fight soil erosion. Our case study shows that image-based farm management can significantly reduce the soil loss on tropical fruit plantations, such as pineapple. In our study a reduction from intolerable 200 t/ha/yr was reduced to tolerable soil loss levels of ; a factor of 27 times improvement. The management at Dole Philippines were both surprised and delighted by the effectiveness of the UAV derived plans.

Soil Erosion

Soil erosion is considered to pose a major threat for pineapple production and environmental preservation in the Philippines. Soil loss rates vary with rainfall, elevation, slope gradient and soil characteristics and can reach up to 250 t/ha/yr. Based on experimental results, those losses can decrease potential yields as much as 30% in one crop cycle. Fighting soil erosion is therefore a major objective to move to a sustainable cultivation of pineapple in the Philippines.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) combined with know-how in farm management provide new opportunities to significantly reduce soil erosion. Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) gained from UAVs are the basis for designing relief-adapted field layouts (planting rows, drainage channels) and an effective placement of soil conservation structures.

 

Project Scope

Our study was carried out on the world’s largest pineapple plantation, managed by Dole Philippines Inc. and located at the footslopes of a volcanic cone on the island Mindanao. The area has a total size of 220 sqkm and a strong relief.

 Dole Inc Survey DroneDole Inc SurveyingDole Inc Drone Launch                                                       

Since March 2014 Dole Philippines has been flying their fields on a daily basis with two QuestUAV Agri-Pros. The Quest UAV “Agri-Pro” carries a Twin NDVI sensor providing Dole Philippines with RGB and NIR information at a spatial resolution of 5 cm. The images are the basis for designing and implementing new relief-adapted field layouts and soil conservation structures. The whole implementation workflow was developed by Dole Philippines in close cooperation with the German company ORCA Geo Services (GIS and agricultural consulting) and QuestUAV.

Dole Philippines, as a leading agricultural company in the Philippines, has an excellent environmental protection policy for its agricultural production. Soil erosion is continuously measured and analysed over time, allowing comparisons between soil loss rates of old and new, relief-adapted field layouts.

Results and Conclusions

The graphic below shows how the old field layout has been adapted to the relief on the basis of a Natural Color Image and a Digital Elevation Model (DEM). The total area of the field is 85 hectares. The images were acquired with the QuestUAV Agri-Pro System. The image processing was performed with Pix4Dmapper Pro. QGIS was used to design the new field layout.

Digital Elevation Model Pineapple PlantationThe old field layout shows that planting contours do not follow the contour of the terrain. In some parts of the field, planting blocks are oriented perpendicular to the contour and rain events have a massive erosive effect. Water masses will flow directly downslope transporting huge amounts of soil material. A soil loss rate of 200 t/ha/yr was measured for the steep-slope parts of the field.

Contour lines were calculated on the basis of the DEM. Contour lines indicate the ideal shape and orientation of planting rows. Ideal planting contours would follow curves rather than straight blocks. As curved planting rows are not practical for large field machinery, a compromise was required. The field has been divided into two regions with different block orientations.

After the layout design was implemented in the field, new UAV images were taken. The updated image product shows how the block orientation has been changed according to the design. A direct downslope flow of water is hindered by the pineapple plants. By only changing the block orientation, the soil loss rate was reduced significantly from 200 t/ha/yr to 13 t/ha/yr.

Dole Philippines is planning to install additional soil conservation structures to reduce the soil rate further to . Their conservation programme includes, amongst others, mulching, the protection of receptor and tributary channels, the construction of sediment catching ponds and a special conservation strategy for gullies.


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Sequoia, QuestUAV and Pix4Dmapper-Ag - the dawn of a new era in multispectral imaging | 3

Sequoia, QuestUAV and Pix4Dmapper-Ag – the dawn of a new era in multispectral imaging

Sequoia, QuestUAV and Pix4Dmapper-Ag - the dawn of a new era in multispectral imaging

 

DATAhawk

QuestUAV Ltd are proud to announce their new industrial grade compact mapper will be available with the Parrot Sequoia combined multi-band and RGB sensor. Announced February 9th at the World Ag Expo and launching next month, the new sensor covers four bands at 1.2 megapixels plus a 16 megapixel RGB sensor for the ultimate in multispectral accuracy. QuestUAV are one of the initial integrators of the device for Micasense in fixed wing drones, having already applied the RedEdge technology to their UAV range.

 

Single Flight Performance

Incorporated into the DATAhawk compact mapper, the Parrot Sequoia captures data near-infrared, red-edge, red and green at 1.2 MP alongside full RGB imagery at 16 MP. Analytical data is well covered, whilst also allowing the drone's operator to fly single missions of up to an hour to collect high resolution imagery for both crop health index maps AND orthomosaics. Pix4Dmapper, the included professional photogrammetry software, makes discerning usable information for adjusting water and feed rates straightforward and can help lead the way to improved yields and profitability.

 

Sequoia, QuestUAV and Pix4Dmapper-Ag - the dawn of a new era in multispectral imaging | 3

Including Pix4Dmapper-Ag - Simply Powerful

Drones for Mining |  pix4dbanner

Pix4Dmapper Ag converts multispectral images into accurate reflectance and index maps, like NDVI, and uses RGB images to generate high resolution orthomosaics. Easily integrate drone-based technology into your Ag operations, processing locally when and where you want.

Easy workflow. Automated processing for professional maps in one click

Local processing. Work offline, where and when you want

Index calculator. Generate index maps, like NDVI, and convert them into tractor maps

Radiometric accuracy. Optimal results from Ag-designed, multispectral cameras like the Parrot Sequoia and the RedEdge

 

Available to Pre-order Now!

 

DATAhawk Ag with the Parrot Sequoia hybrid multispectral or the sibling Micasense RedEdge sensor are available to pre-order immediately.

Contact us for more details.

DATAhawk RedEdge
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Q200

Hojung Solutions Co. Ltd Complete Intensive Partner Training | QuestUAV News


Hojung Solutions Co., Ltd Complete Intensive Partner Training


All of us at QuestUAV are very pleased to congratulate Munseok Lee and Jungil Park, of Hojung Solutions Co., Ltd on completion of their partner training.

A two week visit to QuestUAV HQ in sunny Northumberland, predominantly filled with intensive training days, concluded today and after a successful return home they are available for demonstrations within the Republic of Korea - starting with the Q-200 Surveyor Pro.

Q200 Drone Chasers

Contact: Munseok Lee

Telephone: +82-61-802-0007 (061-802-0007)
Mobile Phone: +82-10-2516-7049 (010-2516-7049)

Location: 301ho, 46 Seokhyeon-ro, Mokpo-si (Mokpo Cultural Industry Support Center), Jeollanam-do, Republic of Korea


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Fixed Wing vs Rotary Image 1

Fixed Wing Versus Rotary Wing For UAV Mapping Applications

Fixed Wing Versus Rotary Wing For UAV Mapping Applications

Fixed Wing vs Rotary
UAVs (also known as drones) come in many shapes and sizes. Each of these have their own unique pros and cons. It is these characteristics which ultimately leads to the operator's decision in which platform will best fit the application. It is understanding these key attributes and acting on them will ensure that your mapping mission is a success.

Fixed Wing Or Rotary Wing UAV?
UAV aircraft currently boil down to two categories, fixed wing and rotary wing. As you may have guessed each of these categories can be further broken down, for example a fixed wing UAV can be high wing, mid wing, low wing and flying wing, again each having their own unique characteristic advantages and disadvantages. For the purposes of this article we will be focusing on the “top level” differences between the two.

Fixed Wing UAV
Fixed Wing vs RotaryFixed wing UAVs, such as the Q200 and DATAhawk, consists of a rigid wing that has a predetermined airfoil (again another variable) which make flight capable by generating lift caused by the UAV’s forward airspeed. This airspeed is generated by forward thrust usually by the means of a propeller being turned by an internal combustion engine or electric motor.

Control of the UAV comes from control surfaces built into the wing itself, these traditionally consist of ailerons an elevator and a rudder. They allow the UAV to freely rotate around three axes that are perpendicular to each other and intersect at the UAV’s center of gravity. The elevator controlling the Pitch (Lateral axis), ailerons controlling the Roll (Longitudinal axis) and the rudder controlling the Yaw (Vertical axis).

Fixed Wing vs RotaryThe main advantage of a fixed wing UAV is that it consists of a much simpler structure in comparison to a rotary wing. The simpler structure provides a less complicated maintenance and repair process thus allowing the user more operational time at a lower cost. More importantly the simple structure ensures more efficient aerodynamics that provide the advantage of longer flight durations at higher speeds thus enabling larger survey areas per given flight.

Another advantage of fixed wing UAVs is that the flght characteristics due to their natural gliding capabilities with no power.

Also worth considering is the fact that fixed-wing aircraft are also able to carry greater payloads for longer distances on less power allowing you to carry some of the bigger (more expensive) sensors as well as twin sensor configurations.

The only disadvantages to a fixed wing solution is the need for a runway or launcher for takeoff and landing however VTOL (vertical take off/landing) and STOL (short take off/landing) solutions are very popular to help eradicate this issue. Also fixed wing aircraft require air moving over their wings to generate lift, they must stay in a constant forward motion, which means they can’t stay stationary the same way a rotary wing UAV can. This means fixed wing solutions are not best suited for stationary applications like inspection work.

Rotary Wing UAV
Fixed Wing vs RotaryRotary wing UAVs consist of 2 or 3 rotor blades that revolve around a fixed mast, this is known as a rotor. Rotary wing UAVs also come in wide range of setups consisting of a minimum of one rotor (helicopter), 3 rotors (tricopter), 4 rotors (quadcopter), 6 rotor (hexacopter), 8 rotors (octocopter) as well as more unusual setups like 12 and 16 rotors! Like fixed wing solutions, these setups can be further broken down, for example a Y6 setup consists of a tricopter with twin rotors on each arm, one pointing upwards and one pointing downwards and an X8 consists of a quadcopter with twin motors on each arm. Again each setup has their own unique characteristic advantages and disadvantages.

Rotor blades work exactly the same way as a fixed wing, however constant aircraft forward movement is not needed to produce airflow over the blades, instead the blades themselves are in constant movement which produce the required airflow over their airfoil to generate lift.

Fixed Wing vs RotaryControl of rotary UAVs comes from the variation in thrust and torque from it’s rotors. For example a quadcopter’s downward pitch is generated from the rear rotors producing more thrust than the rotors in the front, this enables the rear of the quadcopter to raise higher than the front thus producing a nose down attitude. Yaw movement uses the rotor’s torque force where diagonal rotors either spool more or less than their counter diagonal rotors thus producing an imbalance in the Yaw axis causing the quadcopter to rotate on the vertical axis.

Tricopters are the only exception to this where their rear rotor requires a servo to physically move the rotor to vector it’s thrust rather than using the rotor’s torque to enable vertical axis control.

The biggest advantage of rotary UAVs is the ability for takeoff and land vertically. This allows the user to operate with in a smaller vicinity with no substantial landing/take off area required. Their capacity to hover and perform agile manoeuvring makes rotary wing UAVs well suited to applications like inspections where precision manoeuvring and the ability to maintain a visual on a single target for extended periods of time is required.

On the flip side rotary wing aircraft involve greater mechanical and electronic complexity which translates generally to more complicated maintenance and repair processes thus meaning the user’s operational time can be decreased, which can occur increases in operational costs.

Finally, due to their lower speeds and shorter flight ranges the operator will require many additional flights to survey any significant areas, another increase in time and operational costs.


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Skeye Imagery

Skeye Aerial Survey & Inspection’s Angola Project With The QuestUAV | QuestUAV News

Skeye Aerial Survey & Inspection's Angola Project With The QuestUAV

You can find original article here

In 2014 Skeye carried out an additional two projects in Angola. For the Angolese government a number of large areas in the vicinity of Luanda were mapped using drones.

The drones used by Skeye are of the type Bird-Eye (Quest 300). These are fixed unmanned aircraft equipped with a geometrically calibrated camera to take aerial photographs. These photographs, around 80,000 for the two projects, are taken in a special pattern. This pattern is pre-programmed so as to ensure that every image overlaps with the next with a certain percentage. Using additional measurements on the ground with RTK GPS all the images can be stitched together and assigned with the right coordinates.

From the imagery a very detailed 3D digital terrain model was generated and all objects such as houses, roads and vegetation were mapped.

Skeye Digital Terrain Model

3D Digital terrain model

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