Sep. 7, 2016
Swiss professional drone manufacturer, SenseFly, expanded its portfolio today with the launch of the new eBee SQ fixed-wing agricultural drone. This unmanned aircraft system (UAS) is built with the Parrot Sequoia multispectral camera.
The eBee SQ is an advanced for agricultural professionals such as crop consultants, growers and researchers. It builds on senseFly’s popular eBee platform, which has recorded over 300,000 successful customer flights to date worldwide.
The arrival of the eBee SQ provides Parrot’s Sequoia camera — the smallest, most advanced multispectral sensor on the market. The eBee SQ combines the benefits of precise crop imaging with large ground coverage, and is fully compatible with existing agricultural workflows. The eBee SQ’s supplied planning and control software, called eMotion Ag, is compatible with Farm Management Information Systems (FMIS) and ag machinery. eMotion Ag was developed with expert input from leading agriculture service provider AIRINOV, whose team of agronomists has worked with more than 5,000 farmers across France and beyond. Compatible with Windows OS-based PCs and tablets, eMotion Ag is easy to use. Its features include direct importation of crop boundaries from the user’s FMIS, in shapefile format, for highly accurate and efficient mission planning; image overlap pre-sets to aid quick deployment; and multi-field uploads, enabling several fields to be included in a single flight plan.
Its multispectral sensor captures Precise Crop data across four highly distinct spectral bands (near-infrared, red-edge, red and green) plus visible RGB imagery—in just one flight. Once the drone’s images have been processed, using a solution such as Pix4Dmapper Ag/Pro (Desktop & Cloud) software or cloud-only solutions such as MicaSense ATLAS and AIRINOV’s, the Sequoia’s broad spectral data enables numerous vegetation indices to be computed including NDVI, NDRE, MCARI and CCCI. The resulting index maps can then be employed to assess factors such as a plant’s chlorophyll levels, a key indicator of crop health. With Pix4Dmapper Ag/Pro, these index maps can be further adapted to create exportable prescriptions (i.e., application maps), allowing professionals to carefully optimize their crop treatments to improve production quality, boost yields and reduce costs.
The eBee SQ can fly for up to 55 minutes on a single battery charge. This performance enables it to cover up to 500 acres (200 ha) in a single flight at 400 ft (120 m) above ground level* — up to 10 times more ground than small quadcopter drones — for extremely efficient crop monitoring and analysis. The result is fewer flights per project and less time spent collecting data.
The eBee SQ is available for purchase immediately via senseFly’s global network of distributors. It is available with the Parrot Sequoia in a cost-effective bundle, or without Parrot Sequoia (for existing owners of this camera).