Research and education

Researchers and academics are using drones to quickly gather accurate data over large areas for results that are repeatable. Drones offer an efficient and cost-effective way to conduct research in environments as diverse as arctic glaciers to a Sub-Saharan desert.

Table of

    What are the benefits of drones in research?

    Repeatability – Accurate drone data can be processed manually or automatically to produce repeatable results and enhance the quality of analyses.

    Flexible and versatile – Use one tool for many projects and for various applications, whether for geography, agriculture, archeology or social sciences and anything in between.

    Cost – Make the most of research funding with cost-effective and efficient data capture over large areas, reducing acquisition times and costs of field studies and increasing research value and outputs.

    Easy to use – AgEagle’s fixed-wing drone solutions are lightweight and easy to use, even by one person. As a lightweight drone with a C2 classification, obtaining flight permissions in populated areas for Operations Over People (OOP) flights is also easier.

    Automation – Automate classification with high-resolution data as input to conduct research faster and at great scale.

    What are the applications of drones in research?

    Feasibility assessment – Assess research project feasibility with real-world data, conditions and context to help plan logistics, methodology, cost and more.

    Change monitoring – Map, measure, monitor and model changes in a landscape for research or to track project progress.

    Vegetation research – Use drone AgEagle’s drone data solutions to capture accurate and high spatial, spectral and temporal resolution data for research in agriculture, forestry, conservation and more.

    Climate and water research – Conduct water and climate-related research over large areas, including water flow and drought modeling, soil erosion mapping, species counting and classifications.

    Archeology and geology – Map archeology sites to engineering accuracies for desktop studies and modeling; Understand rock and other geological formations with large area maps.

    Built-environment research – Capture and analyze high-accuracy built environment data such as thermal maps for power substations, roads, towns or more to study infrastructure phenomena or town planning.

    What types of drone data outputs can you expect?

    Orthomosaic map – A geospatially accurate and detailed 2D representation of a site. Accurate orthomosaic maps help agronomists monitor fields and extract other insights.

    Index maps – Combine multispectral indices for detailed crop, soil and water analyses. MicaSense drone sensors can be used to map Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), NDRE which is sensitive to chlorophyll content in leaves and can also be used for mapping variability in fertilizer requirements, Color Infrared Composites, and OSAVI (Soil Adjusted Vegetation Index) maps.

    Digital Surface Model (DSM) – DSMs accurately depict elevation and are useful in water management and soil monitoring applications.

    3D mesh map – A three-dimensional texture (mesh) map with X, Y, Z data can be used for plant physiognomic analysis.

    Point clouds – Point cloud maps comprise millions of individual points featuring X, Y, Z geospatial coordinates and with associated RGB/multispectral values, and can be used in yield measurements and crop spraying (or other input) calculations.

    Contour lines – Topographic maps take X and Y coordinates from the aerial drone data to generate precise contour intervals.

    What software do you need?

    • eMotion software is a leading drone software solution for flight planning, geotagging and photo stitching. From here the imagery can be exported for further processing in Pix4D and other software.
    • PIX4Dfields photogrammetry software is a popular solution for vegetation and crop mapping and analyses.
    • Measure Ground Control can be used to manage a drone fleet, as well as to process multispectral imagery from MicaSense sensors.

    Newsletter sign up

    Sign up to receive updates directly to your inbox.