This section investigates the variety of potential uses for aerial NDVI. While not exhaustive, the industries mentioned below provide a detailed overview which encompasses a range of sub-sectors, demonstrating the versatility and importance of this solution.
The ability for agricultural professionals to monitor their crops and ensure consistent yields is an invaluable addition to their existing equipment. Simple to use quadcopter solutions are able to map entire fields in a matter of minutes, negating the need for a flyover by a manned aircraft and, because of this, reducing costs. All that's needed is an affordable drone, the appropriate software and some basic training on the process.
NDVI is a powerful tool with the potential to aid in the creation of irrigation systems and more sustainable methods of growing crops in challenging environments. The ability to monitor the progress of yields and the effective distribution of water enables humanitarian organisations to provide workable solutions to struggling communities. There's no need for excessive manpower, a quadcopter mounted with an NDVI sensor can be piloted by a single operator meaning that resources can be shared effectively.
In the continued development of genetically modified crops and studies into biodiversity, an on-site monitoring solution is invaluable to determine how effective each new strain is in a controlled environment. NDVI scans can show the health and spread of vegetation, offering scientists an in-depth overview of yield progress and giving them the ability to access workable data to inform future studies.
An Introduction to NDVI
NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) uses both visible and near-infrared bands of the electromagnetic spectrum to collect and analyse data, assessing whether the target area contains healthy vegetation.
It has found a wide application in agriculture and scientific studies due to its ability to accurately estimate crop yields, the efficacy of irrigation and general vegetation maintenance. The results of NDVI surveys are dependent on factors including the amount of ground coverage, the level of photosynthesis occurring in the target plants, how much surface water is present as well as the amount of biomass in the target area.
Here is an example of an NDVI scan with the healthy and unhealthy sections marked out:
As you can see, this is an invaluable tool for agricultural use as it helps land owners monitor and proactively solve issues as they arise, for instance, knowing which areas of a field require a greater level of fertilisation or if excessive water levels are causing issues with crop yields.
In most cases, healthy vegetation absorbs a high quantity of the visible light and reflects back a large amount of near-infrared light making it easily identifiable in the resulting image. Conversely, any unhealthy plant life will reflect a greater level of visible light and less near-infrared light, with the surrounding land (i.e. bare soil) reflects a closer balance of the two.
These differing reflective properties ensure that any issues with vegetation are picked up on and mapped out in an easy to read format.
NDVI is calculated via an algorithm that subtracts red reflective values from near-infrared and divides it by the sum of near-infrared and visible (red) electromagnetic bands as you can see below:
This algorithm allows users to delineate between two identical areas of vegetation which may have different values due to one being in bright sunlight, and another in cloudy conditions. In this example, the brighter sunlit pixels would have a larger value, causing a bigger difference between bands. This discrepancy is averted by dividing by the sum of these reflective readings.
NDVI values are displayed on a scale from-1 to 1. Extreme negative number values represent water, results around zero tend to be bare soil and values over 0.6 on the scale represent dense, healthy vegetation.
For the best results, always try to fly on a clear day with minimal cloud cover.
Platforms & Products
DJI Phantom 4 NDVI
We are now offering the DJI Phantom 4 fitted with an NDVI solution to provide our enterprise customers with an intelligent surveying airframe.
The DJI Phantom 4 is an intuitive, feature-rich quadcopter which offers pilots a range of flight modes as well as inbuilt obstacle avoidance. Controlled via the DJI GO 4 app, it's never been simpler to conduct an aerial NDVI scan.
Heliguy's tech support has years of experience offering both repairs and modifications to DJI kit and we guarantee an unparalleled level of support. If you're searching for an easily transportable, simple to use quadcopter that's powerful enough to carry out accurate agricultural surveys, look no further.
DJI Phantom 3 Professional NDVI
Heliguy's NDVI solution is mounted to one of DJI's most popular quadcopters from the Phantom range, the Professional model.
The DJI Phantom 3 Professional is a reliable quadcopter which puts a suite of intelligent flight modes at your disposal. Easy to fly through the intuitive DJI GO app, you'll have no problem getting airborne and conducting surveys with this drone.
Our on-site technical team are highly experienced in offering both repairs and modifications to existing airframe builds such as this custom DJI Phantom 3. With years of accrued knowledge of DJI's product range, as well as the wider commercial landscape, they work to spec and provide rigs that meet your needs.
This NDVI product is available as described above as part of a build incorporating the DJI Phantom 3 Professional. You can learn more about the rig builds we offer by calling our team on 0191 296 1024 for a one-to-one chat about your business requirements.
Our team has designed bespoke rigs for a range of clients utilising our machine-specific knowledge of DJI products to combine the functionality of NDVI with one of the most intuitive quadcopters on the market. We bring this level of expertise into our training.
Heliguy offers Bespoke Training Courses which can be tailored to focus on the essential criteria of NDVI sensors and how, when coupled with drones, they provide a powerful vegetation surveying tool. We adapt our in-depth approach to training alongside your company's specifications to ensure you're given real-world scenario instruction.
Aside from advice on NDVI solutions we also provide accredited training on behalf of the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) meaning that we can get a member (or members) of your team qualified to offer aerial services.
For more information about our training courses, call us on 0191 296 1024 and start your company's journey towards a lucrative NDVI service offering. Alternatively, fill in your details below to register your interest with our training team.