Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) are an up-and-coming method in providing farmers with (near) real time sensing information for precision agriculture applications such as water stress monitoring, detection of nutrient deficiencies and crop diseases. The EU funded project FieldCopter provides state-of-the-art multi-spectral cameras on UAS that deliver the right information in the right time on the right spot, developing a complete solution for UAS sensing.
Existing components are brought together and required high precision navigation of EGNOS is added in order to create an autonomous flying camera that follows a predefined pattern. FieldCopter will demonstrate its operational viability in two distinct cases: potato growth- & vineyard monitoring. Next to potatoes and vineyards, the FieldCopter service will be explored simultaneously for other promising high value crops, such as vegetables, flowers and orchards (apples, oranges).
The consortium aims at a complete operational service, bringing together the necessary competences assembled on the platform: the sensing aspects, the navigation expertise and the market knowledge. FieldCopter allows farmers to create economical and ecological benefits through optimal use of resources like water, nutrients (potassium, nitrogen) and crop protection agents.
The initiative will also be useful to demonstrate how powerful the European high precision navigation system EGNOS is and what advantages its complete operational service has in the area of precision agriculture. FieldCopter started January 2012 and has a time span of 24 months. Six partners from The Netherlands, Belgium & Spain are involved.