How to Make Quality Maps and Image Requirements
CHOOSING THE RIGHT DRONE
Agremo analyses don’t require any additional equipment and can be requested with images captured with common commercial drones, both fixed-wing or multirotor. Many users choose to capture fields with DJI drones, but you’re free to choose the drone type that best works for you, as long as the image quality is around 0.9 in per pixel or 2.5 cm per pixel.
SENSOR / CAMERA
Agremo doesn’t require any specific sensor or camera. The analyses work with every available RGB sensor, which is the kind of sensor that comes with every DJI drone. Besides this, Agremo analyses also work with specialized sensors like the ones from Micasense or Senterra, NIR, or multispectral cameras.
Professional drone data software solutions like Agremo can process stitched images (maps) in GeoTIFF format, not raw images. Maps are obtained by stitching individual images together using a stitching software solution. Most Agremo users use DroneDeploy’s stitching tool to stitch their images together, but you can use any available stitching service of your choice.
Agronomists and Ag drone experts recommend starting mapping plants and crops once they’ve reached the V3 stage or about 5 in height. Also, fly during the middle of the day to avoid shadows on your images and assure good light distribution across the field.
PREVIOUS CROP TREATMENTS & WATERING
In case the plants were treated or watered before mapping, it would be best if the entire field was treated (not just part of the field), as these actions may have an impact on factors like color and canopy, which could affect the accuracy of the results.
FRONT & SIDE OVERLAP
To achieve 0.4-1 in per pixel, choose an 80% front overlap and a 75% side overlap, or try different settings that work for your drone and sensor. If you need a better image quality with more details (to spot plant stress or diseases on small plants for example), increase the side overlap accordingly.
Altitude always depends on the sensor you’re working with and how detailed the images have to be for this particular case. Ag drone experts recommend flying between 165-245 ft.
Flying speed is connected to the flying altitude and is usually set to 4-10 MPH. Platforms like DroneDeploy have automated speed settings, which are determined based on the remaining mapping parameters, meaning that once you’ve established the basic mapping parameters using such automated flight planners, you won’t have to worry about speed settings.
Generally, it’s okay to fly both during sunny and overcast conditions, as long as the light is distributed evenly on the field. Experts recommend starting mapping either when clouds cover the entire field or when there are no clouds at all.