High Eye Aerial Imaging Inc. & University of Guelph Muck Crop Research Station Extending and Expanding NDVI Research Project
For the past 4 years High Eye Aerial Imaging Inc. has been in partnership with Professors from the University of Guelph’s Muck Crop Research Station located in the Holland Marsh.
The purpose of the research partnership was to test the potential benefits of obtaining new data and research opportunities, while minimizing costs for labour by supplementing labourers by utilizing UAV’s.
The first year, High Eye and the research teams set out to maximize the efficiency of UAV imagery in assisting in the identification of failing or stressed plots, faster and more effectively, than traditional methods such as; ground labourers or aerial photography.
After acquiring high altitude orthographic and oblique images, the research team was able to identify locations of need at a record pace. Upon seeing the immediate benefit, the teams continued to explore other data types which the UAV could utilize and contribute towards new research.
Before the end of the first year, the use of a specialized NDVI camera was implemented into the UAV. These specialized cameras are able to pick up the near infrared reflections from the plants, which when processed and interpreted properly, can yield vast amounts of plant health data vs regular RGB cameras.
By the second and third year, the High Eye team was orthographically mapping upwards of 100 hectares of the Marsh in both RGB and NDVI every week. The University was beginning to compile vast amounts of data to incorporate into their research, for a fraction of the price of what these specialized surveys would normally cost using traditional mapping methods.
Then by the fourth year, the Professors were beginning to question whether these flights, which were being done once a week, were being conducted regularly enough for the purposes of their research. However, the logistics of more flights could potentially of become a problem as the plot and pilot schedules did not always coincide with sunny days, which are needed for effective NDVI data capture.
High Eye Aerial Imaging then set out to empower the station, by managing, training, insuring, and equiping the Professors and research team at the Muck Crop Station with their own NDVI research UAV, allowing them to collect data as frequently as they wish!
The project is in its first year, and both teams are very excited to see how much data they will be able to collect. Both believe that this new opportunity has great potential and are excited to see what new revelations they sow within the NDVI – Muck Crop Research program by the end of the season.
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