Agricultural Survey Drones

Topcon’s Falcon 8 with it’s advanced sensors and imaging capabilities will give farmers a new way to increase yields and reduce crop damage.

What “drones” means to farmers across Ireland is simply a low-cost aerial camera platform:
The Falcon 8 is equipped with autopilot using GPS and a infra red camera controlled by the ground station operator; software in the office can stitch aerial shots into a high-­resolution mosaic map. Unlike the Falcon 8, most other drone aircraft needs to be flown by a pilot on the ground, with the Falcon 8 the autopilot does all the flying, from takeoff to landing. You can plan a flight with its software achieving the maximum coverage for minimal flight time. The images are also optimised for later analysis.

The low altitude view from around 70 meters, gives a perspective to farmers previously unseen to them. This is a much cheaper option that than used by large farms abroad, typically, in the past larger manned aircraft like helicopters or fixed wing would have to be used to achieve the same results as the Falcon 8, and the imagery would not be as clear, this method would prove very expensive and probably uneconomic for the Irish Farmer.

The invention of the Falcon 8 brings remarkable advances and opportunities for farmers not just in Ireland but across the globe. The Falcon 8 can provide various types of detailed views.

Firstly, seeing an aerial view of the crop can reveal patterns that expose problems from irrigation (which is rarely a problem in Ireland due to high rainfall) to soil variation and even pest and fungal infestations that aren’t apparent to the farmer standing at ground level. Secondly,the Falcons 8’s array of cameras can take multispectral images, capturing infrared data as well as the visual spectrum, which can be combined to create a view of the crop that highlights differences between healthy and distressed plants in a way that can’t be seen with the naked eye.

Finally, the Falcon 8 can survey a crop at different stages of growth, hourly, daily and weekly if needed combining images to create a time-series animation, that images gathered can show minute changes in the crop, revealing problem areas and chances to better manage the crop.

The introduction of the Topcon Falcon 8 combined with the already popular Topcon Precision Ag products bring Irish Farming to a new level maximising yield at reduced costs with minimal input.