Change detection and monitoring has been a very useful tool and now with drone technology, more and more in industries and governmental operations.

Aerial surveillance by using drone has been used extensively in the industrial line of businesses. Surveillance by drones is proven efficient to cut down the time cost and provide more insights and details.

One of the current use of drone surveillance is to use it to monitor changes of a same site over a specific time period. This can be roughly called as time-based aerial monitoring. 

The main purpose of using drone to monitor changes over time varies by industries. In this article, we will discuss further the application and uses of time-based aerial monitoring that is currently being used across different industries.


Agriculture industry utilises time-based drone surveying as a tool to comprehend agricultural data such as plant health, crops growth, soil condition and irrigation. In the case of plant health, farmers will often fly drones in a specific interval of time (especially after a treatment) to determine if treatment such as fertiliser and pesticide is effective to the plant. 

This also can be done to get the general trend of crops growth in order to determine if more fertiliser or treatment is needed.

When it comes to soil condition or soil moisture index, it is relatively important as it directly affects the condition which the crops grow in. Soil moisture normally refers to the amount of water that is contained int he first 5 – 10 cm layer of land from the surface. 

Image via Esri

Soil moisture plays a very important role in controlling and regulating the interaction between the land surface and atmosphere. Soil moisture index does not only give insights to agricultural perspective of things, but it also gave us other data such as ecosystem. Soil moisture level can serve as an early warning of land erosion or land condition near/in a river that could give clues to soil movement such as soil erosion, infiltration and runoff.

This alone has made clear that UAV change detection can be used not only in agriculture, but also in forestry and environmental management, which brings us to the next point.


Deforestation rate around the world is increasing at a quite alarming rise right now despite the many efforts of different parties to decrease the deforestation rate in order to address the severity of global warming.

Few parties all around the world such as government agencies have started to incorporate drone into their conservation operations to widen the surveillance assets and range. Using changes over time from drone reference can help enforcers to monitor the forest reserve more closely.

By using this method, not only the enforcers can see which area is at risk of deforestation and other further damages, they will also be able to calculate accurately the affected area with high accuracy thanks to help of RTK and PPK technology.

Other application would be identifying the habitat loss or upset ecological imbalance due to deforestation as well as threats of natural disasters such as landslide, flooding, soil erosion and so on.

Water Management (Dam, river, sea level increase)

As mentioned previously, the deforestation rate around the world has increased these past few decades which continually contributed to the global warming effects. The obvious effects of global warming would be the rise of sea level which threatens islands and coastal cities.

One way in which drones come in to monitor the rise in the sea levels which is expected to increase over time. Drones also are useful in monitoring beach erosion as the results of rising sea levels.

This will help authorities to plan out the contingency plans where some areas are predicted to be submerged when sea levels rose up.

Case study

Water management is crucial to society, as we use water in our daily activities. Improper use of water has lead to water scarcity and shortage in some areas. While you might think your area or country has no problems with water supply, the truth is, there’s a high chance the clean water provider is struggling to find more sources of water.

Drones can be used to monitor the water supply in major areas such as rainforest, lakes and rivers to see if there are any major changes that would lead to inevitable water shortage. Authorities then can plan to take measures to prevent the water supply shortage and thus, avoiding water supply issues to the public.

This is also applicable to monitoring a dam water level and the overall condition of the dam. 


In the construction industry, drones are being used commercially to monitor the progress of the construction. This application can be stepped up to another level by the visualisation of the changes of the construction in over time.

By doing this, project managers will be able to do reporting in a much more convenient way by visualising changes of the infrastructure progress in one window rather than showing a series of pictures as a replacement of time-lapse images.

You can view a sample of construction site change detection done by Hivemapper here.
How to read the map:

  • Blue is new — blue means the object is new.
  • Red is fled — red means the object is no longer there.
  • Gray is unchanged — no changed were detected

Urban Planning

Local councils are normally involved in the city planning in the area of their jurisdiction. As such, drones can help in planning for the development projects in the area. This is done by capturing the changes over time in the proposed site to see if there are any major changes from the past (for example, opening of residential areas) that would be suitable for a new development project (for example, shopping mall or parks).

The proposed site can be measure accurately just from the aerial imagery captured by the UAV which later can be utilised for the construction purposes.

Other than that, an aerial view of changes can be used to determine the traffic flow or behavioural changes. This will, in turn, enable landscape architects and planners to examine the existing social and environmental conditions of sites in far more detail than before and planning further development such as highways, upgrading roads, adding traffic lights and so on.

Example of vegetation management for urban planning purposes.

Explore the latest cutting edge remote sensing data processing software in the market, Airamap by Poladrone.

Last Monday, we launched Airamap, our web-based precision mapping analytics software. W have been developing this software precisely to cater to aerial mapping and remote sensing landscape in this region.

We published a sneak peek of Airamap, basically, we talked about some of the amazing features of Airamap. Today, we will explore all about it on the uses of Airamap, how Airamap can help to optimise your business and how you can get started with Airamap.


Precision Agriculture

Precision agriculture is one of the reasons why Airamap was built, in order to cater to the agriculture industry in this region, especially in Malaysia and Indonesia. This is due to the lack of software in the market that is suitable to be used for local farming data.

One of the impressive features of Airamap is the ability to automatically assess the mapping data and tagged the tree count. This is suitable to be used in oil palm and durian plantation.

Image screenshot of tree count map from Airamap.

This process is done automatically by Airamap’s AI-powered engine which ensures accuracy and fast-paced processing.

Other than that, Airamap can be utilised extensively to analyse multispectral or NDVI heat map which contains invaluable insights to the conditions of your plant health and condition.

To read more about multispectral imaging and NDVI, you can do so here: Multispectral Imaging: Uses And Application.

Airamap has been used by some of our clients before it was launched and it is found that generally, the analytical results can help them to increase the harvest yield, detect problematic trees and plan replanting operations. 

Land Survey and Construction

In construction and land survey operations, it is very important to observe and analyse the site topography to ensure the operation can be taken with regards to the safety.

As such, Airamap helps to process the raw data taken from the remote sensing collection to be translated into topography and elevation maps.

These maps are essentially important for building construction and Airamap delivers accuracy with data taken with RTK drones such as Phantom 4 RTK which has the centimetre-level positioning accuracy.

This will ensure the developers can get a bird’s-eye view of the site to give them a better understanding of the area’s elevation, and next, taking measures to ensure the project would run smoothly.

This elevation maps (also can be in form of DTM, DSM, DEM and etc) are also being used extensively in quarry and mining sector.

Quarry elevation maps from Airamap

You check out Airamap features, simply just by creating an account in Airamap platform. To do so, click here to head towards Airamap homepage and you will be given a sample data to explore further.

Get to know in details about Airamap features by going through the user guide. If you are interested to subscribe to a free trial, you now can check out the free trial packages here.

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 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

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


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.

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.


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.


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.


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:


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.

The implementation of drones in the fields of sustainability and scientific research is already an application that will catalyst more and more changes in the future.

As we have stressed in the previous articles, the application of drones on the industrial scale is getting more and more attention due to its effectiveness, but there are still plenty of rooms and untapped potentials of drones that can be further explored to assist in smoother operations.

As such specifically here in palm oil plantation industry. In this article, we will discuss in an extensive manner of how drones can help in expediting the productivity and at the same time resolving issues that are clouding the oil palm industry at the moment.

Issues clouding palm oil industry.

The palm oil industry has long attracted ears and eyes internationally as it is portrayed as a destructive industry to the environment. Often pictured as a practice that took away homes from orangutan and deforestation, how exaggerated is this from the truth?

Image via NTU

The truth is, palm oil industry has been held responsible for 8% from the world’s total deforestation. However, oil palm is not the main cause of deforestation.

Deforestation, in general, has caused many terrible effects towards the environment such as loss in habitat, biodiversity and ecosystem, also higher carbon dioxide output into the atmosphere that will only hasten the global warming process.

In spite of that, Dr Emma Keller from the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) – a charity that works to protect the planet – said that “Palm oil is in close to half of the products we buy in the supermarkets – in everything from shampoos and soaps, to pizzas and biscuits. It’s everywhere.”

The usage of palm oil is in high demand. We cannot avoid it. You might think it will be solved if the oil palm is switched to other vegetable oils in product manufacturing.

Doing that will only make things worse. This is due to the fact that palm oil yield is the highest compared to other crops. Other oil-producing crops such as sunflower, soybean and rapeseed would require more land area for plantation to produce oil. For example, sunflower plantation would take a much wider area to produce 1L of sunflower oil compared to palm oil.

More area for plantation simply means more deforestation activity will happen should palm oil is switched to another alternative. Quoting from WWF, “It is not palm oil that harms the orangutan, nor other agricultural crops that damages the environment. It is unsustainable agricultural production that impacts the environment, affecting natural ecosystems, reducing wildlife habitats, emitting greenhouse gases and polluting freshwater.”

Sustainable palm oil farming

According to the Union of Concerned Scientist, sustainability is a complex idea with many facets, including the economic (a sustainable farm should be a profitable business that contributes to a robust economy), the social (it should deal fairly with its workers and have a mutually beneficial relationship with the surrounding community), and the environmental.

Environmental sustainability in agriculture means good stewardship of the natural systems and resources that farms rely on. Among other things, this involves:

  • Building and maintaining healthy soil
  • Managing water wisely
  • Minimizing air, water, and climate pollution
  • Promoting biodiversity

The goal of sustainable agriculture is to meet society’s food and textile needs in the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Practitioners of sustainable agriculture seek to integrate three main objectives into their work: a healthy environment, economic profitability, and social and economic equity.

Ways how drone can assist in sustainable agricultural practices


Drone is handy when it comes to surveying and monitoring. That being said, monitoring palm oil can be done for various purposes such as tree counting, coverage area, and etc. Drone’s capability to capture accurate images and transform it into a detailed maps with topography, elevation, terrain and so on.

This will be a tremendous aid in the effort of replanting, crop arrangement planning to make sure maximised returns and profit while at the same time keeping the environment’s health in check.

Using drone, one also can identify key areas with a high likelihood of land movement to happen and inject preventive measures before it gets bigger (for example landslide) and that threatens the crops and the habitat in the vicinity.

Soil health

Using a drone to monitor soil health is probably unheard of before. Still, it is slowly emerging as the effectiveness of this method is readily recognised. This method is mainly conducted with clues provided by NDVI analysis of the drone.

Read more about NDVI correlation and soil health

Avoiding pollution

As you might know, drones are now utilised to spray pesticide and fertiliser in industrial farming plantation. This is due to the fact that drones are able to deliver precise results with low resources compared to traditional backpack spraying.

Practising sustainable farming will be meaningless if pollution happens. And drones help to lower the risk of pollution by the precise distribution of pesticide and fertiliser.

Excess of fertiliser will result in algae booming and excess pesticide can harm the aquatic animals when absorbed into the ground.

Featured image via UNDP

Let’s explore the extensive application of drones and UAS in the agriculture industry.

In the previous article Drones 101: History, Mechanics & Industrial Applications we’ve discussed the origins of drones and the science at work and various drone applications in industry.

But, we’ve barely scratched the surface, especially about the industrial applications of drones as there are a whole lot more to explore!

In this article, we will discuss in-depth about the utilisation of the technology of drones on the industrial scale, especially agriculture drone.

Drones now are widely applied across different industries, especially now, in the agriculture area because of its efficiency, lower cost and convenience. Let’s explore how exactly drones are rapidly changing the landscape of efficiency in the agriculture industry.


Image via DroneDeploy

Mapping in farming was not considered important for a successful harvest or great crops arrangement, but now, it is considered as a vital part of modern farming practice, all thanks to the help from drone technology.

Mapping in agriculture now is used to plan the crop arrangement in order to achieve the optimum capacity for higher harvest rate, survey the terrain and elevation on the farm’s land, and soil analysis.

Mapping also is important in the sense that there will be no empty spaces in the vast plantation to push the harvest rate. Also, mapping is very important to plan out the routes for irrigation, pesticide & fertiliser spraying, and harvesting.


Lately, there is an emergence of practice to use drones to not only mapping and monitoring, but also to kick-off the planting process. You can see now that drones are being used for seeding.

This is due to the fact that UAV can deliver the process with more uniform spread and higher success rate. These systems shoot pods with seeds and plant nutrients into the soil, providing the plant all the nutrients necessary to sustain life.

Crop monitoring

Monitoring crops on a regular basis throughout the planting cycle is extremely crucial. This is to determine the individual health level of the plants in making sure that the plants are healthy and if there are any infections or problems (such as lack of water, nutrients, etc).

Detecting infections or problems are important as farmers can administer preventive measure to avoid them from spreading further and doing more damage to the crops.

This process is done by observing the light spectrum absorbed and reflected by the leaf. This method is called as Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI).

NDVI is captured by the mounted payloads (cameras) that capture the non-visible light, particularly the light in/near the infrared fringe. This is on the basis that healthy plants absorb visible light and reflect near-infrared (NIR) light.

The healthier the plant is, the more NIR light will be reflected.

Click here read more or find out how NDVI is calculated

Image via Green Aero Tech


Using drones as a spraying medium is now replacing the traditional backpack spraying operated manually by the labour force. This popularity may be credited to the proven efficiency of using a drone for spraying that can easily cover a wide area of land in a single day.

The conventional backpack spraying is sometimes rendered as ineffective and costly, not to mention, hazardous. The area that can be covered manually by the labour force depends on the numbers and productivity of the workers.

This makes knapsack spraying method more expensive and inefficient compared to drone spraying. The longer duration is taken for the backpack spraying to be completed thus caused pressing issues such as pest infestation or fungal infection cannot be dealt with in time and contributed to the total loss in harvest/profitability.

And there are few more concerns raised in concerning the hazardous effect of the direct exposure of harmful chemicals to the workers handling the spraying work.

Drone spraying method has the ability to address the issues involved in the typical backpack spraying. In terms of area coverage, a drone can cover much higher area compared to the manual method.

For example, Poladrone’s own Pola-V15 spraying drone can cover up to 20 hectares a day. Pola-V15 is designed by Poladrone’s own experts and engineers and assembled here in Malaysia and has helped many farmers and business owners nationwide to gain more harvest and profitability.

Pola-V15 in spraying work at a paddy field.

Poladrone’s Operational Team and the farm owners posed with Pola-V15 after the completion of a spraying project.

We at Poladrone have always passionate about providing effective, fast and affordable industrial solutions by bringing drone into the picture. We are specialised in integrating drone technology not only in the agriculture field  but also few other major sectors such as construction, oil and gas and many more.

Interested in our operation and services? You can view more here: Poladrone’s Services

Bottom Line

Drone technology as a whole is getting more and more innovative and advanced day by day. It is not possible that one day, labour-induced tasks in farming (or any industry) can be replaced with a fully automated system by integration of drone into the workflow.

Industrial drone is getting more acceptance these days, as the results are reliable and accurate and time (and cost) saving thus directly contributed to the overall profit maximisation.
If you would like to learn more about drone technology in agriculture and other industries, feel free to contact Poladrone.

Featured image via Interesting Engineering