Drone 2.0

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Now that John has his official Unmanned Aerial Vehicle license, (UAV), we upgraded our drone.   We found a buyer for our original one.  It was a compilation of components we acquired a couple winters ago.  We had a DJI Phantom 2, with a gimbal and GoPro Hero 3 attached underneath.  We added a dedicated monitor (called a First-Person View or FPV) attached to the control pad.  It worked nicely and captured some terrific video and still pictures for us.  We used our Phantom 2 to make videos and take in-crop still photographs for crop quality analysis.  Our new drone is a  DJI Phantom 4 Pro.  This new system with its built-in 4K camera will take even sharper video and pictures.  And the camera can be controlled from the ground, rather than only on the GoPro.

Our source for this new UAV was Aerial Media Pros, out of California.  They serve not only agriculture, but also many other industries including folks in the movie business!  We will likely test out a way to stitch together images from an outfit called “Drone Deploy” this summer.  Perhaps in the future, we will acquire a NDVI camera that can evaluate crop health.

We have a good case for the new UAV, making it simpler to transport and store.

The Phantom 4 Pro with all its accessories

On an initial test flight, they snapped this picture of the farm buildings. It is quite sharp, with a 20Mp camera. It will also do 4K video. And this one does not have the ‘fish-eye’ distortion we had with the old GoPro3. This is going to provide us some really good images.


We are looking forward to putting this thing into service this spring/summer.


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