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Posts Tagged: drones

UC offers drone workshop for mapping, research and land management June 18-20

A drone flies over the Mojave Desert to create a detailed vegetation map for a desert tortoise habitat study.

People who are interested in using drones for real-world mapping are invited to attend a three-day intensive drone workshop in the Monterey Bay Area. The third annual DroneCamp will be offered June 18-20 by UC Agriculture and Natural Resources' Informatics and GIS Program. No experience with drone technology is needed to participate.

Drone mapping involves taking high-resolution photos with drones and stitching them together with software to make extremely accurate, orthorectified maps. More difficult than videography, it is widely used in agriculture, construction, archeology, surveying, facilities management and other fields. DroneCamp will cover all the topics someone needs to make maps with drones, including:

  • Technology - the different types of drone and sensor hardware, costs and applications
  • Drone science - principles of photogrammetry and remote sensing
  • Safety and regulations - learn to fly safely and legally, including tips on getting your FAA Part 107 Remote Pilot Certificate
  • Mission planning - flight planning tools and principles for specific mission objectives
  • Flight operations - hands-on practice with both manual and programmed flights
  • Data processing - processing drone data into orthomosaics and 3D digital surface models; assessing quality control
  • Data analysis - techniques for analyzing drone data in GIS and remote sensing software
  • Visualization - create 3D models of your data
  • Latest trends - hear about new and upcoming developments in drone technology, data processing, and regulations

On the first day, DroneCamp instructors will discuss drone platforms, sensor technologies and regulations. On the following two days, participants will receive hands-on instruction on flying safely, using automated flight software, emergency procedures, managing data, and turning images into maps using Pix4D mapper and ArcGIS Pro.

Registration is $900 for the general public and $500 for University of California students and employees. Registration includes instruction, materials, flight practice and lunches. Scholarships are available.

This year DroneCamp is being held in conjunction with the Monterey Bay DART (Drones Automation & Robotics Technology), which is holding an industry symposium on Friday, June 21. DroneCamp participants get a $50 discount to attend the symposium.

For more information and to register for DroneCamp, please complete the registration form at http://igis.ucanr.edu/dronecamp. Registration fees are due by June 1, 2019.

 

Posted on Friday, May 17, 2019 at 9:29 AM
Tags: drones (10), Informatics and GIS (2)

UCCE helps farmers see the potential in agricultural use of drones

In the late 1800s, when automobiles started replacing horses in the United States, farmers were likely pondering how the new technology could be adapted for agricultural production. Before long, tractors revolutionized the industry.

A similar scenario unfolded in June at a UC Cooperative Extension field day in Merced County. Farmers, scientists and entrepreneurs gathered at Bowles Farm in Los Banos to learn how drones may be deployed on farms of the future to improve irrigation, fertilization and pest management practices and monitor the crop to maximize yield and profit.

Instead of driving a pickup truck around the perimeter of the field, pushing through hip-high row crops, or meticulously sampling dozens of tree leaves, a quick fly-over with the right equipment could provide farmers all the data they need to make production decisions.

During a field day demonstration, this drone flew autonomously back and forth over the field, then landed within two feet of the takeoff location.

This won't happen tomorrow. Regulations still hamper drone use and the cost of some equipment is prohibitive. But UCCE advisor David Doll is working with scientists at UC Merced and Fresno State to find low-cost alternatives for data collection and analysis that will make the information collected by drones of value to farmers.

“We were able to get good correlation with plant water stress using a thermal camera, however the platform is too expensive,” Doll said.

Doll's research, funded by a grant from UC Agriculture and Natural Resources, uses data from hundreds of drone flights over an almond orchard. The project has shown that monitoring perennial cropping systems from the sky presents challenges.

“Perennial crops will have water stress before the crops show stress,” Doll said. “We need to find an algorithm to identify water stress before it's too late for the orchard.”

Justin Metz, left, and Emory Silberton are part of the technology integration team at Bowles Farm. They flew a small drone to demonstrate their crop monitoring practices.

Bowles Farming Company, which hosted the field day, flies drones over its farms three days a week, said Justin Metz of the company's technology integration team. The high-definition imagery is shared with the on-staff agronomist, who can diagnose emerging issues.

“Our use of drones is in its infancy, but we're ahead of others,” Metz said. “Knowing the capabilities is really exciting. Drones are here, and they're going to stay.”

Lynn Sosnoskie, left, and David Doll talk at the drone field day.

UCCE agronomy and weed science advisor Lynn Sosnoskie attended the drone field day to gather ideas and make contacts. She believes drones have the potential to monitor crops for herbicide injury.

“I want to ground truth drone images to see if they can predict yield loss,” Sosnoskie said.

Retired pest control adviser Richard Stewart, one of about 100 attendees, is considering how drones could be used to monitor for rodent damage in irrigation ditch banks.

“I've never see anyone do that,” he said. “I'm just looking into it. It's a new idea.”

UC Merced graduate students Michael Haoyu, left, and Joshua Ahmed, right, demonstrated the drone they use to gather data over farms. In the center is retired PCA Richard Stewart, who is considering starting a consultancy using drones to monitor for rodent damage.
 
During a drone flight, Emory Silberton shows real-time crop monitoring on a tablet computer.
 
Drone technician Jacob Flanagan is part of the UC ANR's Informatics and Geographic Information Systems drone team.
James McKay of CalTec Ag Inc. showed a drone that takes off and lands vertically, then levels out in the sky.
 
Fresno State electrical engineering professor Gregory Kriehn is conducting research on the use of sensors in farm fields to collect data and transmit the information to drones.
 
Michael Noricia, co-founder and CEO of Pyka autonomous aerial application, said his battery-powered drone can carry 200 pounds of chemicals to spray on crops.
 
Brad Anderson of Yamaha Motor Corporation said the company's mini helicopter, which can carry a 4.2 gallon payload, is used widely for spraying crops in Japan.
Posted on Friday, June 29, 2018 at 8:34 AM
Tags: David Doll (26), drones (10), Jacob Flanagan (2), Lynn Sosnoskie (2), UAV (1)
Focus Area Tags: Agriculture Innovation

Do You Know Me?

A drone fly, Eristalis tenax, sips nectar from a Mexican sunflower, Tithonia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The drone fly is an identity thief. It's often mistaken for a honey bee. Hey, isn't every floral visitor a bee? No, not by a long shot. One's a fly and one's a bee. That came to mind last weekend when we saw a large  number of honey bees (Apis mellifera) and drone flies (Eristalis tenax)...

A drone fly, Eristalis tenax, sips nectar from a Mexican sunflower, Tithonia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A drone fly, Eristalis tenax, sips nectar from a Mexican sunflower, Tithonia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A drone fly, Eristalis tenax, sips nectar from a Mexican sunflower, Tithonia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Side view of a drone fly. The fly is often mistaken for a honey bee. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Side view of a drone fly. The fly is often mistaken for a honey bee. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Side view of a drone fly. The fly is often mistaken for a honey bee. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Over and out--this drone fly says it's time to go. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Over and out--this drone fly says it's time to go. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Over and out--this drone fly says it's time to go. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A honey bee sipping nectar from a Tithonia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A honey bee sipping nectar from a Tithonia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A honey bee sipping nectar from a Tithonia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Friday, October 28, 2016 at 5:00 PM
Tags: Apis mellifera (20), drones (10), Eristalis tenax (11), honey bees (384), Mexican sunflower (41), Tithonia (49)

Watching the Girls Go By

Honey bees making a

Pull up a chair and engage in a little "girl-watching." That is, honey bees heading home to their colony. Many beekeepers, especially beginning beekeepers, like to watch their worker bees--they call them "my girls"--come home. They're loaded with pollen this time of year. Depending on the floral...

Honey bees making a
Honey bees making a "bee line" for their home. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Honey bees making a "bee line" for their home. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Note the load of yellow pollen. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Note the load of yellow pollen. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Note the load of yellow pollen. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Queen bee and her retinue. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Queen bee and her retinue. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Queen bee and her retinue. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Friday, March 28, 2014 at 11:47 PM
Tags: bee observation hive (6), drones (10), pollen (27), queen bee (10), worker bees (5)

White-Eyed Drone

This is a white-eyed Caucasian (dark) honey bee drone. White-eyed drones are blind. In the foreground is honey. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Beekeepers sometimes see a white-eyed drone in their hives--a genetic mutation.All drones (male) honey bees, have these spectacular wrap-around eyes that are perfect for finding a virgin queen on her maiden flight. After all, the drone's sole purpose is to mate with a queen and then die.  So, every...

This is a white-eyed Caucasian (dark) honey bee drone. White-eyed drones are blind. In the foreground is honey. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
This is a white-eyed Caucasian (dark) honey bee drone. White-eyed drones are blind. In the foreground is honey. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

This is a white-eyed Caucasian (dark) honey bee drone. White-eyed drones are blind. In the foreground is honey. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

This is a normal drone (male) honey bee. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
This is a normal drone (male) honey bee. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

This is a normal drone (male) honey bee. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Wednesday, April 25, 2012 at 8:32 PM

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