Explore more on the workings behind a multispectral and how it is being used especially in agriculture sector

Last month, the brand new Phantom 4 Multispectral was launched by DJI. The latest addition to the Phantom series surely excites the industrial drone bodies and companies.

Phantom 4 Multispectral is built to optimise the operation in agriculture, with built-in multispectral cameras. Many have asked what exactly is multispectral sensor and how does it work in agriculture and other industries.

In this article, we will explore more on the workings behind a multispectral and how it is being used especially in agriculture sector.

What Is a Multispectral Sensor?

Multispectral sensors are a type of sensor that is able to collect the visible electromagnetic wavelengths as well as wavelengths that fall outside the visible spectrum as opposed to the standard visual sensor that collects red, green and blue wavelengths of light. 

The non-visible electromagnetic waves that can be observed via multispectral sensor includes near-infrared radiation (NIR), short-wave infrared radiation (SWIR) and others.


Every surface will reflect different composition of wavelength and this reflected waves are the ones that can be observed through multispectral camera. That data can be compared to other nearby objects to understand the crucial differences between them.

Beside Phantom 4 Multispectral which is equipped with the multispectral sensor, other drones also can be mounted with third-party multispectral sensor such as sensors from Sentera.

Application in Agriculture

Drone multispectral imaging is now getting more and more adoption in agricultural nature of business. This is due to the capability of multispectral imagery is able to discern the health condition of crops and plants.

As mentioned earlier, as all surface would reflect waves differently from each other, healthy leaves will reflect different spectrum of electromagnetic waves than the leaves on dead or unhealthy plants.

There are a lot of types of data set images that can be indexed using multispectral data, amongst them; NDVI, NDRE, SAVI and many more types of vegetation index that can be used in discerning crops health.

Vegetation indices are usually measured using the aforementioned vegetation reflective properties. The indices are used to analyze various ecologies. 

Vegetation indices are constructed from reflectance measurements in two or more wavelengths to analyze specific characteristics of vegetation, such as total leaf area and water content.

Vegetation interacts with solar radiation differently from other natural materials, such as soils and water bodies. The absorption and reflection of solar radiation is the result of numerous interactions with different plant materials, which varies considerably by wavelength.

Water, pigments, nutrients, and carbon are each expressed in the reflected optical spectrum from 400 nm to 2500 nm, with often overlapping, but spectrally distinct, reflectance behaviours. These known signatures allow scientists to combine reflectance measurements at different wavelengths to enhance specific vegetation characteristics by defining vegetation indices.

NDVI

NDVI is one of the most-used vegetation indices up-to-date. It describes the vigour level of the crop and it is calculated as the ratio between the difference and the sum of the refracted radiations in the near-infrared and in the red, that is as (NIR-RED)/(NIR+RED).


The interpretation of the absolute value of the NDVI is highly informative, as it allows the immediate recognition of the areas of the farm or field that have problems. The NDVI is a simple index to interpret: its values vary between -1 and 1, and each value corresponds to a different agronomic situation, regardless of the crop

Curious what kind of features that AIRAMap has compared to other processing software in the market? Let’s see what really makes AIRAMap different!

All this while, we have been discussing the practicality of drones in other articles that have been published on this website. But we have never really delved on how exactly the data is processed and analysed after the aerial pictures have been taken.

Pix4D and DroneDeploy are probably the preferred software when it comes to processing drone data software and a few open-source applications such as QGIS and so on.

Pix4D and DroneDeploy have very high compatibility in processing data and simple user interface made them largely popular for drone data processing purposes.

Similarly, Poladrone has also developed a cutting edge web-based software that is optimised for drone data processing. Our own GIS software called AIRAMap is right now being used internally, ready and set to be launched.

As AIRAMap is developed in Malaysia, it is only natural that it is optimised for local usage and practicality. 

Curious what kind of features that AIRAMap has compared to other processing software in the market? Let’s see what really makes AIRAMap different!

AI-Powered Processing Engine

AIRAMap comes with AI-powered processing engine which is a major gamechanger. The artificial intelligence is also developed specially by our tech team, which is programmed to prioritised data accuracy and not at the expense the overall results visual quality. 

The AI, through countless data that was accumulated and processed, has enhanced its ability to accurately convert data into acute representation and information.

The major reason why AIRAMap is compatible to be used in this region is basically the ability of AIRAMap to detect and discern the condition of the trees in a region. This function is, of course, would be extremely useful for agriculture industry and forestry purposes.

Nevertheless, AIRAMap usage is of course not limited for agriculutre and forestry purposes only, but rather all-in-one software that is able to process drone data for various purposes.

Tree Counting and Plant Health Detection

AIRAMap boasts high-accuracy tree detection features with 99% accuracy. This tree counting feature is a valuable tool for plantation owners and company to forecast their yield and plan their budgeting and capital roll.

Next, with tree counting, AIRAMap is also able to provide insights about the individual plant health. This is done when the drone captured the images of the plants using specific sensors such as sensors from Sentera that will then generate NDVI maps.

<<Tree condition image>>

This map will enable the owners to discern problematic areas such as swamped or unkempt area and the plantation owner/manager will be able to put preventive measures into action so the plants will stay healthy and thus yield more harvest.

3D and Elevation Models

Other features that AIRAMap holds is that map models, as well as 3D model from drone imagery, can be easily constructed with the functions inside.

Map models such as DTM, DSM, DEM and many more are used commonly in construction and mining industries. With a proper presentation of the terrain and geographical surface, construction firms and mine operators can easily navigate the area to asses the risks involved in their operation area.

Furthermore, 3D models, especially for buildings, is utilised for inspection. The 3D model is done by stitching high-resolution images of the building taken using drones and then the inspection will be done by examining the 3D models. 

The damages or defects then will be able to be pinpointed as well as the severity of it. The maintenance steps then will be taken to address the issues.

Report Viewing and Visualisation

Other useful features of AIRAMap would be the customisable report viewing and visualisation. After the data from the drone is captured and processed, the users would view the results to take further actions.

In this case, AIRAMap provides flexibility which the users can choose how they want to view the results and the format of the report.

This flexibility offers customisation that can be fitted in many cases and provide efficiency for progress reporting and planning.

Bottom Line

AIRAMap offers more than just these 3 features. To fully support the industrial use of drone imagery processing AIRAMap is equipped with many other functions that will allow smooth assimilation of drone usage into heavy workflow.

There are plenty of ways that drones are being used beyond purely commercial operations. Some of them are even doing some good to the planet. Here are five ways drones are saving the environment.

12 years to save the planet? Make it 18 months now; wrote a BBC environment correspondent, Matt McGrath.

McGrath’s article title written last July has since garnered attention everywhere especially in online communities and platforms.

International communities and individuals are now paying their utmost attention in the effort to administer preventive actions to deal with all-time pressing environmental issues.

If you are following Poladrone’s updates and blogs, or just following the trends in UAV industry generally, you would be well informed about the usage of drones across industries such as construction, agriculture and many more.

You might have noticed that drones have been mentioned to be able to aid in environmental preservation efforts. But do you know in what way exactly drones are helping championing the environmental recovery efforts and process?

Find out how researchers and scientists put the practicality of drones to bolster their preservation operations and actions.

Disaster management

Disaster management is basically the function that can be found not only in environmental conservation but also is heavily utilised in SAR operations. While SAR normally involves areas when humans live, disaster management in the context of environmental preservation is to monitor natural disasters such as wildfire, drought and so on.

The Amazon wildfire that happened recently shooked the world because it was happening at a very large scale while continue to spread without any signs of stopping. Wildfires are a common occurrence in Amazon because of farmers clearing lands for agriculture, but losing track or control over the fire spreading can result in a large scale wildfire like the world has just witnessed.

Drones can be used to monitor the hotspots area which is the area that has higher tendencies to be caught in fire (regardless by natural cause or by human incitement). 

These hotspots are normally identified by the higher percentage of dry materials (such as dried shrubs and leaves, or forest which is close to agriculture spots that practice forest fire to clear out lands. 

Generally speaking, tropical forests are less prone to be caught in fire due to the amount of shade and the high density of living plants compared to forest growing in dry climate.

Nevertheless, these hotspots are normally monitored using both normal camera and thermal camera. Thermal camera can identify specific areas which are really dry or facing drought/dry season and precautions will be taken by authorities to take preventive actions.

In Malaysia, several state forestry departments, such as Sarawak and Pahang, have adopted drones as one of their assets to monitor the forestry area under their jurisdiction more carefully.

Wildlife Monitoring

The other key usage of drones in forestry is to monitor wildlife especially the key species that are facing imminent threat of extinction. Moreover, monitoring can also serve the purpose of tracking animals’ population, determining the animal’s behaviour, and migration routes.

Drones ETC

However, drones can be noisy and sometimes bothering and stressing the animals out. As such, to curb the minimal disturbance to the animals so their activities patterns are not messed up. 

To overcome this downside of drone usage, scientists and environmentalists had come up with a code of best practices to make sure the supposed behaviour of the animal is not altered when they are observed through drones.

Another reason why drones are chosen to be adopted into conservatism practices is because of the reliable accuracy and that is very useful in forecasting the population of a species.

Furthermore, national parks or forest rangers are using drones to monitor any suspicious activities such as poaching and illegal hunting inside the forest or parks under their watch.

Deforestation and replanting tracking  

Another practical use of drones in conservatism is to monitor the deforestation rate in certain area. Precision mapping that is accurate up to centimetres level has to be put into good use such as measuring the rate of forest clearance.

Deforestation is a very serious issue going on (albeit the global deforestation rate has slowed down) and should be observed carefully to not contributing more towards global warming and other serious issues.

Forest replanting is one of the efforts that has been taken by many parties all around the globe to counter deforestation in hope to put a halt or at least reduce the effects of global warming.

In reforestation, drones can be used to measure the progress and the growth rate of the planted trees. Map models like CHM (Canopy Height Model) compared between a period of time (for example a year), can determine the need for further human intervention such as improving irrigation or so on.

Other than monitoring, drones also are suitable for seed distribution. 

Replanting and seeds distribution

Seed distribution is extremely important in reforestation efforts. This is due to the fact that drones can easily cover a large area in seed dispersion process. What’s more important is that the dispersal pattern is more even and consistent compared to the manual method.

Evenly distributed seeds will have more rooms to germinate, without having to compete for nutrients and space which will contribute directly to a faster growth rate of the trees.

Spraying drones such as Poladrone’s own PV-15 which can be doubled as seed spreading drone is the ideal type of drones that can be automated for forest restoration.

Renewable energy 

Renewable energy would be the best alternative in cutting down reliance on fossil consuming energy. Renewable energy generators such as solar panel farm, geothermal plant, wind turbines and so on are regarded as clean energy sources as little to minimum carbon emission.

The application of drones here would be almost the same in other areas which is the plant/energy plant inspection.

Drone sensors and cameras can easily detect any leakage, fluctuations and damaged areas in plants and generators.

Another application, however, is to help in identifying suitable spots and areas where new renewable energy plants can be built.

Aerial mapping can distinguish the terrain of potential spots and the geographical shape then is analysed to discern the suitability of the area.

Moreover, the ideal spot would require an abundance of renewable energy. For example, to build a wind turbine, you would need to identify areas with strong wind flow, for example, coastal areas and hills.


This can be done using drones that are equipped with wind speed detection such as weather forecasting drones.

Similarly, this kind of drones can be utilised in searching for areas with steady sunlight coverage all-year-round for solar energy farms.

Do you know how drones are contributing towards Malaysia’s economic and civil development? Get updated on the recent applications of drones in Malaysia.

On this day, Malaysia celebrated her sixty-second National Day. As a company that was incorporated and based in Malaysia, Poladrone has nothing but well wishes for Malaysia to be a developed and peaceful country.

As such, Poladrone always strives to deliver our best in helping different economic sectors and civil aspects to contribute to the local landscape of technological advancement.

In the occasion of Malaysia’s 62nd National Day, let’s see how drones are actually contributing towards the betterment of society especially in the local context.

Civil Development

Surveillance

To ensure public security is continuously maintained, the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM), has adopted the usage of drones way back in 2015. UAV usage has been recognised to be effective in enforcing the laws as well as keeping the general peace and justice.

The workflow by using drone surveillance is through live video captured by the drone projected directly to the control room so the police personnel can monitor any area at a given time and proceed to take proper measures.

Disaster Management

Malaysia Civil Defence Force (APM) also has adopted UAV as a helping tool in their operation. Recently, drones were used to monitor a forest fire recently happened in Miri, Sarawak.

Similarly, the Fire Department (Bomba dan Penyelamat) utilised drones to monitor a forest fire in Pahang that would back then posed a risk to locals.

They also have used drones to monitor hotspots which have higher tendencies to cause haze.

Johor Fire Department also adopted drones in their SAR operations. According to its Director, “Manual searching method can be time-consuming and when adopting new technology (drone), it is apparent that it helps the Fire Department a lot, especially in SAR operations.” 

Forestry and Conservation

Not only limited to civil defence and law enforcement departments, other government agencies that are involved in the forest reserve and conservation. States like Pahang and Sarawak are well-known for their bountiful forest reserve and well-preserved nature. 

To continue preserving nature as well as preventing illegal activities such as logging and hunting from happening inside the protected area, Sarawak and Pahang Forest Department are currently monitoring the reserve area by UAV units.

This is due to the fact that their personnel can monitor the area without leaving the safe spot, which will of course significantly decrease the overall risk in doing patrol rounds on foot.

Defence

Malaysian Armed Forces also are adding drones into their arsenal as well as taking appropriate measures to adopt UAV defence mechanism. 

In a recent talk, Malaysia’s Deputy Minister of Defence has said that “ATM agrees and admit the importance that UAV technology carries for the time being as well as in the future as one of the warfare strategies, and at the same time increasing ATM’s capability to monitor nation’s maritime and land border.”

Moreover, the Malaysian Armed Forces also are expecting to be receiving 12 ScanEagle UAV units from the US government in their effort to bolster their allies capability.

ScanEagle (Via Drone Center)

Economic Sectors

Agriculture

If you have read or have been following Poladrone’s activities, it is safe to assume that you are well-informed about the usage of drones in the agriculture sector.

UAV platforms have helped in many kinds of way in the farming industry, conveniently reducing cost, time and increase accurateness in problems and issues identification.

Besides for analytics, mapping, spraying and plant health monitoring, more and more usage of drones inside agriculture is being developed.

This is due to the fact that the farmers and farm owners that have used or are using drones as a part of their farming process has seen the effectiveness and are confident in the prospect of drones fully automating the farming in the future.

As such, PV-15 drone which is developed and engineered by Poladrone, also is being used extensively in plantations in Peninsular and East Malaysia.

Poladrone’s PV-15

Construction

In Malaysia also, drones have long integrated into workflow and operations of construction processes. There a few prominent construction firms that are using drones as a tool to monitor the progress, keeping track of inventory and maintenance survey.

The Minister of Human Resources also has called for drone usage to minimised risks involving construction labour following the aftermath of a landslide in Bukit Runtuh.

A team of drone operators also was established by one of Malaysia’s prominent highway developers, ANIH Berhad. The establishment of that UAV pilot team is a result of a landslide incident in 2015.

According to the report, drones are used to monitor land movement on hill slopes, traffic flow, roadway breach and many other usages.

Energy and Utility

Drone utilisation in inspection in the utility sector is currently adopted by Peninsular’s sole electric supplier, Tenaga Nasional Berhad. This initiative has been taken by TNB in 2015 to replace the usage of helicopter for inspection operations.

Not just in the electrical supply area, similar inspection operations are also starting to be adopted in the telecommunications sector. Drones will inspect the telco towers that normally would require workers to climb up the towers and that’s where the hazards lay.

Tourism & Hospitality/Creative Industry

In tourism and hospitality, it is very crucial to create an offline and online presence in order to better promote our country. And to do that, resorts and tourist attraction would have to capture enchanting marketing materials such as photograph and video.

Drones produced by DJI are all now comes with features to take 4K quality footage. As they are optimised for videography, it is only natural that they are also specialised in photography functions.

These functions, of course, are a big boost to the local creative industry players as they would have even more space to be creative and producing notable works.

Oil & Gas

Oil and gas is one of the biggest contributing sectors to our country. As Malaysia houses a whole bunch of oil processing and refining plants, it would be crucial for oil and gas to conduct checkups and inspections regularly.

These checkup and inspection operations would involve a lot of personnel and that sometimes translates to high maintenance cost.

Similar to the utilisation in the energy and utility sectors, drones are normally used to inspect the existing crude petroleum processing and monitoring new facilities.

Let’s explore drone’s capability as the future replacement for despatch mission and the current challenges that drone players need to address as well as to correct public misconceptions about this aerial delivery system.

We all must have heard or read somewhere about a few projects that utilise drone as a delivery platform. As such, Poladrone’s home hub, Cyberjaya, is carefully considering and have taken baby steps to start delivering food around the suburb.

Personally speaking, food delivery is a pretty good idea, considering that it potentially can transport the order in a short time but it shouldn’t be the highlight of UAV delivery process as society can benefit more with essential supplies such as medicines. The ideal example of this is what Zipline is doing in Ghana.

What’s good with UAV shipping is that it will save time for products delivery both on the company’s and customer side. Drone’s capability to take the air route can be advantageous in terms of skipping heavy traffic and travelling the shortest distance ie displacement from the distribution centre to the customer’s location.

And not to forget that by using it this way, drone can reduce the overall reliance on manpower to deliver packages and parcels.

While the idea might seem grand and futuristic, in truth, the setting up process and the operation side of the UAV delivery might not be too beautiful.

Like many other business operations, there are many things/aspects that have to be taken into consideration or reviewed to actually create a working system for delivery by drone can happen.

Let’s explore the inner workings behind setting up the drone delivery system and speaking in realistic terms in the perspective of the system implementation in the local context.

Rules and regulations

One of the biggest challenges for drone operator to set up drone delivery method is actually the local rules and regulations. Civil aviation regulations are actually to maintain the peace and prevent aerial accident and incident from happening.

As delivering packages would only definitely be operating in civil residential area, the more reason for rules and regulations to be tightened and enforced.

Take a look at the general rules in drone operation in Malaysia:

  1. No drone can be operated within 5km of airport, aerodrome or airfield
  2. Do not operate closer than 30m to people, buildings and vehicles
  3. The maximum height for operation in 122 meters above ground level
  4. Operation is prohibited inside sensitive areas such as government buildings

Take a look at the rule number 2, “Do not operate closer than 30m to people, buildings and vehicles”. This rule alone has presented a headache for drone operators that wishes to implement drone delivery services.

Amazon, for example, had long planned to execute aerial delivery system but their hands were tied down by the regulation. Recently, Amazon has requested America’s aviation authority, FAA to loosen up the regulations for them to start UAV shipping.

Credits: Amazon

Practicality

The second aspect that will be taken into consideration when planning drone shipping system is absolutely the practicality of it.

A system must have practicality for them to be useful for many parties that are going to be using that particular system. In this case, the drone operator, company and the customers are the stakeholders that make up the system structure.

First, for drone operator and the company, they will face difficulties when extending the reach of the aerial shipping method. This is due to the restriction placed on the drone platform itself. For the time being, drone can only fly averagely up to 30 minutes maximum, with horizontal radius 5 – 7 kilometers.

Carrying loads, of course, can use up the batteries even more, and realistically speaking the flying time can be less than 30 minutes. In regards to the radial distance, drones would not be able to cover a large distance. In that case, to completely automate the delivery process for a city, a few distribution and control centres have to be set up.

Moreover, customers might have difficulties in receiving the packages if no designated drop-off site erected. In Amazon’s case, their customers can actually set up the drop-off point themselves.

Customers will mark the delivery location with a “unique marker” and the drone will use its onboard sensors to ensure the delivery area is clear. “If that condition is met, it will descend to a safe delivery height, hold in a hover position and, barring any other obstructions or hazards being sensed, release the package.

This, however, will pose another difficulty for the receiver. Having to set up drop-off point themselves might be a bit more inconvenient compared to delivery person actually showing up at your doorsteps. Not to mention, spaces to set up those points are actually very hard to come by in big cities and this holds true especially in high-rise buildings.

Weather 

As the weather can change unpredictably despite forecasting technology that is readily available right now, this can put a constraint on the UAV delivery service as well.

Drones now operate on battery and battery can be easily damaged when it is in contact with water (rain). Not to mention, the packages can be damaged too (especially food) when it’s raining as packaging the goods in waterproof container might not be ideal for short-distance delivery.

Plus, most drones are not built to withstand fast wind in which also is unpredictable. As such, to operate drone delivery service, the weather factor also must be taken into consideration before executing it.

Bottom line

This article does not seek to undermine drone capability as the future replacement for despatch mission, but rather to point out the current challenges that drone players need to address as well as to correct public misconceptions about this aerial delivery system.

Poladrone, as a drone technology company always seeks out every opportunity for drone technology to develop and hence helping the society benefit from it.

Implementasi dron dalam industri-industri ke arah perlestarian dan kajian saintifik sudah menjadi satu pemangkin kepada lebih banyak lagi pembaharuan dan penemuan pada masa hadapan.

Seperti yang kita telah bincangkan dalam artikel-artikel yang lalu, penggunaan drone dalam skala perindustrian semakin hari semakin mendapat perhatian yang meluas disebabkan keberkesanan yang terbukti. Walaubagaimanapun, terdapat banyak lagi ruang untuk penambahbaikkan dan potensi yang masih tidak lagi diteroka.

Hal ini boleh dilihat dalam situasi pengunaan dron dalam perladangan kelapa sawit. Walaupun drone telah diguna pakai secara meluas, tetapi penambahbaikkan boleh dibuat supaya penghasilan sawit boleh dilaksanakan secara lestari.

Dalam artikel ini, kita akan bercakap tentang bagaimana sebenarnya drone boleh membantu meningkatkan penghasilan dan produktiviti dan pada masa yang sama membantu menyelesaikan masalah persekitaran yang sekarang membelenggu sektor kelapa sawit.

Isu-isu yang membelenggu sektor perladangan kelapa sawit

Sektor minyak kelapa sawit telah sekian lama diperhatikan oleh pelbagai pihak di peringkat negara dan antarabangsa kerana industri ini dianggap sebagai pemusnah alam sekitar. Sebagaimana yang boleh di lihat dalam media, ladang sawit biasanya digambarkan dengan kemusnahan habitat haiwan-haiwan seperti orang utan, tetapi sejauh manakah kebenaran hal ini?

Sebenarnya, industri kelapa sawit telah dipertanggungjawabkan hanya lapan peratus (8%) daripada kadar dan jumlah pembasmian hutan dunia.

Pembasmian hutan (deforestation) secara amnya telah mengakibatkan banyak kesan buruk kepada alam sekitar seperti kehilangan habitat, biodiversiti dan ekosistem dan juga perlepasan karbon dioksida yang tinggi ke dalam atmosfera yang hanya akan merancakkan kadar pemanasan bumi.

Menangkis persepsi tersebut, Dr Emma Keller daripada WFF (Tabung Alam Dunia) berkata bahawa “Minyak kelapa sawit adalah bahan dalam separuh daripada produk yang kita beli di pasar raya – produk-produk seperti syampu dan sabun, pizza, biskut.”

Penggunaan minyak sawit mempunyai permintaan yang sangat tinggi dan adalah mustahil untuk kita mengelakkan pengunaannya sekarang. Anda mungkin akan fikir bahawa masalah ini boleh diselesaikan jika minyak sawit digantikan dengan minyak sayuran dalam pemprosesan produk.

Menukarkan minyak sawit kepada minyak sayuran yang lain hanya akan mengakibatkan keadaan menjadi lebih teruk. Hal ini adalah kerana kelapa sawit menghasilkan isi padu minyak jauh lebih tinggi berbanding minyak sayuran yang lain.

Sebagai contoh, untuk menghasilkan 1 tan metrik minyak, kelapa sawit memerlukan kawasan tanaman yang lebih kecil berbanding tanaman minyak lain seperti soya atau bunga matahari.

Kawasan yang luas untuk menghasilkan isipadu minyak yang sama hanya bermaksud semakin banyak penebangan hutan akan berlaku sekiranya minyak sawit digantikan dengan minyak-minyak sayuran yang lain.

Menurut WWF lagi; “Bukan kelapa sawit yang meletakkan orangutan dalam bahaya, atau tanaman-tanaman yang lain yang mencemarkan alam sekitar. Amalan perladangan yang tidak lestari yang sebenarnya memberi impak buruk kepada alam semulajadi, menghakis ekosistem, memusnahkan habitat haiwan liar, mengeluarkan gas rumah hijau dan mencemarkan sumber-sumber air.

Perladangan Kelapa Sawit Lestari

Kelestarian adalah suatu idea yang kompleks yang mempunyai banyak cabang, termasuk ekonomi (ladang yang lestari sepatutnya adalah suatu perniagaan yang menguntungkan yang menyumbangkan kepada ekonomi yang mampan), sosial (amalan kelestarian sepatutnya di agihkan secara adil kepada pekerja dan pada masa yang sama menyumbang kepada kebaikan komuniti setempat) dan alam sekitar.

Pelestarian alam sekitar dalam pertanian boleh ditafsirkan sebagai penjagaan sistem semulajadi dan sumber-sumber yang mana ladang itu bergantung untuk kekal subur. Antara lain, ini termasuk:

  • Mengekalkan tanah yang sihat
  • Pengurusan sumber air yang baik
  • Mengurangkan pencemaran air dan udara
  • Mempromosikan biodiversiti

Tujuan amalan pertanian lestari adalah untuk memenuhi permintaan makanan masyarakat tanpa menjejaskan keupayaan generasi akan datang untuk memenuhi keperluan mereka sendiri. Pengamalan pertanian lestari mestilah mengandungi  tiga objektif utama: persekitaran yang sihat, keuntungan dan kesaksamaan sosioekonomi.

Bagaimana dron boleh membantu dalam melestarikan pertanian

Pemantauan

Dron adalah satu alat yang sangat berguna untuk proses memantau tanaman. Oleh sebab itu, pemantauan dalam konteks perladangan kelapa sawit boleh dibuat untuk banyak tujuan seperti pembilangan pokok, kawasan ladang dan sebagainya. Keupaayan drone untuk menangkap gambar yang tepat dan seterusnya menukarkan gambar-gamber tersebut kepada peta yang lengkap dengan topografi, bentuk muka bumi dan lain-lain.

Ini sebenarnya adalah satu kelebihan besar terutamanya dalam proses penamaman semula dan susunan pokok untuk memastikan pulangan besar dan pada yang sama memastikan kebersihan alam sekitar terjaga.

Dengan menggunakan dron juga, petani akan dapat mengenalpasti kawasan-kawasan penting yang mempunyai kemungkinan besar untuk berlakunya pergerakan tanah dan seterusnya mengambil langkah pencegahan sebelum terjadinya bencana seperti tanah runtuh yang boleh mengganggu gugat tanaman dan habitat haiwan.

Kesuburan tanah

Menggunakan dron untuk memeriksa kesuburan tanah tidak pernah kedengaran oleh orang sebelum ini. Tetapi cara ini semakin lama semakin diiktiraf disebabkan oleh ketepatannya. 

Ini boleh dilakukan melalui petunjuk yang biasanya boleh dinampak melalui analisa NDVI daripada dron.

Pencegahan pencemaran

Anda mungkin tahu bahawa sekarang drone telah digunakan secara meluas dalam industri pertanian untuk proses penyemburan racun dan baja. Ini kerana dron boleh melakukan proses menyembur dengan lebih efektif berbanding meracun menggunakan beg galas oleh pekerja ladang.

Amalan pertanian lestari akan sia-sia jika pencemaran alam sekitar berlaku dan dron boleh menolong untuk mengurangkan risiko pencemaran dengan melakukan proses peracunan dan pembajaan dengan tepat.

Lebihan baja akan diserap oleh tanah dan memasuki saliran air bawah tanah dan seterusnya mengakibatkan peledakan populasi alga. Racun pula boleh membahayakan hidup akuatik apabila diserap dan dilepaskan ke dalam sungai.

Utilising drone in archaeological field by the functions of 3D imagining, aerial imagery and mapping.

We have been talking about drones application in many areas such as agriculture, construction and land surveying. This is due to the widespread use of drones in this sectors and many improvements through R&D have been done to build the ideal drone for industrial usage.

However, in other smaller industries such as weather forecasting and archeology, the utilisation of drones to aid the processes is not fully adopted yet.

Nevertheless, these smaller industries have started to see the potential of drones technology that can be adapted into their workflow. In this article, we will be learning how drones can be utilised in the archaeological field.

Archaeological field revolves around discovering the relics of past human activities and nature occurrences. Archaeological processes normally revolve around digging and unearthing certain sites that hold historical artefacts.

How do drones are helping out these discoveries then?

Aerial Identification

According to Allison Dickens, manager of the Cambridge Archaeological Unit (CUA) within the University of Cambridge, “Drones provide key surveying capabilities and point the way to new excavation sites.”

This is due to the fact that drones can provide aerial view of an area. The identification process the site can be more effective as researchers would be able to see more than identifying from ground view.

This can be effective to survey the area for other potential key areas that may hold buried ruins or artefacts.


LiDAR reveals the underlying history of a landscape. Image from Kate Johnson.

Using LiDAR, some new discoveries which were not visible to human’s bare eyes have been found. The structures which were buried under the ground is easily distinguished by using LiDAR technology.

Evacuation Process Progress

While some archaeologists used drones for pre-excavation process, there are researchers that used drones right throughout the excavation till the end. Close-up, vertical and rapid shots of the digging process and area are taken using drones.

Bird-eye view will enable the detailed planning of the excavation process, by identifying the key areas for digging and time estimation on each site.

3D Model

Some historical sites may have ruins or build-up of ancient building but the digging process must be done in order to learn more about that particular site. But digging the site means destroying the structure above the ground. 

Here, drones play a very crucial role in taking pictures of the site and remains of the structure. This will enable the researchers to easily build a 3D model later on which will serve a great purpose of understanding that particular historic site.


(Top): A drone photograph of the ancestral Hopi village of Homol’ovi IV, a pueblo dating to the latter half of the 13th century, located in Winslow, Arizona. (Bottom): A screen cap of a 3D virtual model of Homol’ovi IV built using drone photographs.
DOUG GANN/ARCHAEOLOGY SOUTHWEST

Imagining Landscape

With the imagery function of drone, the landscape surrounding the excavation area can be easily captured and obtain. The surrounding landscape and terrain would help the researches imagining how the area looked like back then.

Conclusion

The drone technology is getting recognised day by day. Although it is pretty new in some areas such as archaelogy and research, more and more improvement can be done to accomodate certain needs in the field. With this, it is clear that drones are now proven effective to be utilised in many areas to help reducing the cost and capital.

Unprecedented natural disasters can cause many casualties when it hits populated areas. Authorities and government bodies will be on highest alert and sparing nothing to save many lives as possible.

Disaster management bodies will be struggling to address rescue missions as well as making ample preparations in regards to the possibilities of worsening conditions. This reason is specifically where authorities need to make quick decisions to ensure the safety of the affected population.

Let’s find out why drone is considered to be the perfect tool in search and rescue (SAR) missions.

Introduction

Drones first came into the SAR operative scene to act as the replacement for expensive usage of helicopters and light aircraft. This is because using this type of aircraft is proven to be expensive and sometimes are not effective.

Hence, some SAR team adopted UAS to further assist the surveillance activity but later on drones proved to be capable to serve other aspects and processes of.

Surveillance

Of course, drone is widely used in reconnaissance and surveillance in many sectors such as in military. The effectiveness of drones in monitoring and surveillance uses in SAR is mainly credited to its capability to mount many types of camera payload.

Cameras such as thermal camera and high zoom camera are priceless in the SAR operations. Let’s take the example of missing person case which normal SAR operations would normally involve SAR personnel flying in helicopter or light aircraft at a low altitude while scanning the area using naked eye, hoping to catch a glimpse of the missing person.

While this is posibble in mission flat terrain and less dense forest canopy, it is not ideal to do so in elevated Earth surface and dense forestry. Drones such as DJI’s Mavic 2 Enterprise is ideal to be used both in day and night time since it can be fitted with thermal camera and beam light.

Drones are also favoured as it is able to manoeuvre in tight spots and more thorough search operations can be done

In other instances such as flooding, earthquake or accident, drone can be used to monitor the damages, locating and identifying survivors.

Take a better look at how drone is used in SAR scouting and surveillance in the video below.

SAR using thermal camera (During night time)

SAR using high zoom camera

Rescue operations

Drones in rescue operations are mostly used to send in survival kits and foods as well as helping SAR teams to deliver operative tools such as ropes to the victims.

This is more effective than plane or helicopter food drop as drones can drop the packages at the precise location, in case the victims are injured or unable to leave the area. It is very helpful in the sense that rescue teams will take longer time to reach the victims due to obstacles such as treacherous terrains and natural blockades.

DJI Matrice series drones are essentially optimum for these kinds of task as it can carry high payload while still having good visibility.  Some of the Matrice series drone such as Matrice 200 is engineered with water and wind resistance features which are suitable for SAR operations.

Bottom line

Ultimately, drones are getting more and more recognition in various industries, and the effectiveness in SAR is undoubtedly proven. However, few shortcomings such as battery and flight time that can be improved to increase the efficiency of drones usage in SAR missions.

We have been talking a lot about how drones are used across industries, serving as the key to various automated processes such as mapping, spraying and so on. Precision mapping particularly has seen massive drone integration into its processes. That may be credited to the fact that the mapping accuracy is on par with the conventional land survey and reliable.

In this article, we will be looking at the mechanism behind surveying drone that has rendered it to be extremely useful in land surveying and construction industry.

Real-Time Kinematic (RTK)

RTK stands for Real-Time Kinematics which is a GPS/GNSS technique used to enhance the precision of position data received from satellite-based positioning systems. RTK is centred on the usage of fixed base points which wirelessly sends out corrections to a moving receiver to increase the accuracy of GPS signals.

The satellite and base station corrections will enable more accurate and the GPS engine can fix the position of the antenna to within 1 – 2cm. Traditional GPS receivers, like the ones you can find in your smartphone, or on most robotic platforms could only determine their position with 2-4 meters accuracy. 

Base point is actually a single GCP that constantly provides correction and calibration of the drone’s locational data. Successive GPS measurements at the base stations are paired with the GPS measurements made by the drone. This provides a mechanism for the reduction and elimination of the errors common between the two measurements. These corrections are applied real-time, requiring the drone and the base stations to communicate with each other constantly throughout the survey.

Image credit via Pix4D

Post-Processed Kinematic (PPK)

Post-Processed Kinematics or PPK is actually similar to RTK except for the fact all the corrections are done after the data collection. This means the need for base points as used in RTK processes is eliminated.

Drones that process data using RTK or PPK do not have different sets of hardware. Instead, a PPK drone merely uses a different processing workflow. Data collected by an RTK drone can be corrected using a PPK process, but it will involve a lot of customization.

Image credit via Pix4D

You should be able to understand the basic mechanism of RTK and PPK before we move on to the comparative advantages that PPK haas over RTK which we will be discussing next week!

Mari kita lihat bagaimana dron diaplikasi dalam industri pertanian.


Dalam artikel yang lepas; Drone 101: Sejarah, Mekanik dan Aplikasi dalam Industri kita telah membincangkan tentang asal-usul dron, mekanisme dron dan aplikasi dron yang sangat meluas dalam industri.

Teatpi, kita sebenarnya hanya menyentuh permukaan sahaja, terutamanya tentang aplikasi dalam industri kerana masih banyak yang belum diterokai!

Dalam artikel ini, kita akan membincangkan dengan mendalam tentang kegunaan dron teknologi dalam peringkat perindustrian.

Sekarang, dron telah digunapakai dalam pelbagai industri, terutamanua dalam bidang pertanian. Ini adalah disebabkan oleh keberkesanan dron dalam mengurangkan kos dan membuatkan aliran kerja lebih lancar dan efisien. Mari kita lihat bagaimana dron mengubah landskap industri pertanian.

Pemetaan

Image dari DroneDeploy

Pemetaan tidak dianggap sebagai satu langkah yang penting dalam penentuan hasil tuaian yang berjaya atau untuk penyusunan pokok dan tumbuhan. Tetapi sekarang langkah ini diambil berat,

Pemetaan pertanian sekarang digunakan untuk perancangan susunan pokok demi mencapai kapasiti optimum yang akan dapat mencapai kadar tuaian yang maksimum, memeriksa bentuk muka bumi dalam kawasan ladang dan juga analisis pasir/tanah.

Pemetaan juga sangat penting untuk memastikan tiada ruang tanah yang kosong dalam kawasan ladang yang luas. Selain itu juga, pemetaan juga sangat penting untuk pemerhatian saliran air, semburan racun serangga dan baja, dan juga proses tuaian.

Pembenihan

Kebelakangan ini, beberapa petani dan syarikat berasakan pertanian sudah mula menggunapakai dron untuk proses pembenihan pokok. Ini adalah disebabkan bahawa UAV boleh melengkapkan proses pembenihan dengan sempurna dalam cara penyebaran benih yang lebih seragam dan kadar pembenihan yang lebih tinggi.

Pemantaun tanaman

Pemantauan pokok-pokok secara berkala sepanjang proses pembesaran dan pertumbuhan berlaku adalah sangat penting untuk menentukan kesihatan pokok dan juga untuk mengenalpasti sebarang masalah seperti jangkitan, serangan serangga perosak atau kekurangan zat atau air dan lain-lain.

Mengenalpasti jangkitan atau masalah yang berlaku kepada tanaman amatlah penting kepada petani supaya mereka boleh menjalankan langkah pencegahan dan pembetulan untuk mengelakkan masalah tersebut daripada merebak dengan lebih meluas.

Proses in boleh dilakukan oleh drone dengan mengenalpasti spektrum cahaya yang diserap dan dipantulkan oleh daun tanaman. Teknik in dipanggil Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI).

Data NDVI ditangkap oleh kamera yang dimuatkan yang dapat mengumpul gelombang cahaya tampak, terutamanya cahaya dalam/dekat kepada kategori inframerah. Ini adalah bersandarkan kepada fakta di mana tumbuhan yang sihat akan menyerap gelombang cahaya tampak dan memantulkan cahaya inframerah.

Semakin sihat tanaman, semakin banyak cahaya inframerah dipantulkan.

Penyemburan

Penggunaan dron sebagai alat semburan sekarang sedikit demi sedikit telah menggantikan proses peracunan galas oleh pekerja secara manual. Populariti ini boleh disandarkan kepada keberkesanan yang terbukti dengan penyemburan menggunakan dron untuk ruang tanah yang luas.

Teknik peracunan konvensional kadang-kadang dianggap sebagai tidak efektif dan mahal dan juga berbahaya kepada pekerja. Keluasan tanah yang diracun melalui penggunaan tenaga buruh juga bergantung kepada saiz tenaga kerja.

Ini membuktikan bahawa proses peracunan secara manual adalah jauh lebih mahal dan tidak efisen berbanding dron. Proses peracunan secara manual yang lama akan menyebabkan isu-isu yang perlu diberi perhatian dengan segera akan bertambah buruk, sperti contoh, populasi makhluk perosak akan bertambah atau jangkitan tanaman akan merebak.

Tambahan pula, terdapat beberapa kebimbangan yang telah dibangkitkan tentang risiko kesihatan kepada pekerja yang terlibat dengan proses peracunan kerana pendedahan berpanjangan kepada bahan kimia yang berbahaya.

Pola-V15 merupakan sebuah dron yang direkabentuk sendiri oleh Poladrone yang boleh melakukan penyemburan 60 ekar sehari. Pola-V15 telah menbantu ramai peladang dan petani persendirian dan juga syarikat pertanian untuk meningkat hasil tuaian dan seterusnya, keuntungan.

Pola V-15 dalam kerja-kerja penyemburan.

Kami di Poladrone sentiasa komited dalam menyediakan penyelesaian perindustrian yang efektif, cekap dan berpatutan dengan membawa masuk drone. Kami adalah pakar dalam menyerap dron untuk kegunaan industri yang berat, bukan hanya dalam sektor pertanian, tetapi juga dalam industri lain seperti sektor pembinaan, minyak dan gas dan banyak lagi.

Berminat dengan operasi dan servis kami? Untuk maklumat lanjut, sila layari: https://www.poladrone.com/

Kesimpulan

Secara amnya, teknolgi dron semakin lama semakin menjadi inovatif dan maju setiap hari. Adalah tidak mustahil suatu hari nanti, tugas atau kerja-kerja yang memerlukan tenaga buruh boleh digantikan dengan sistem automatik hasil integrasi bersama dron.