FieldCopter

Why this project is important for EGNOS/GSA/SatNav?: 

EGNOS improves UAS navigation and, as a result, imagery mosaicking. In addition, it provides safety information that allows the safety pilot to fly the UAS to the outer limits of its line-of-sight.

Background: 

Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) are an up-and-coming method of providing farmers with (near) real time sensing information for precision agriculture applications, like water stress monitoring, detection of nutrient deficiencies and crop diseases. With multi-spectral and thermal cameras on UAS, FieldCopter delivers the right information at the right time in the right spot. With the use of EGNOS, UAS navigation is improved and the system will be aware of GPS integrity issues.

Objectives: 

FieldCopter has the following objectives, to:

  • Integrate EGNOS on the UAV platform for improved navigation and processing;
  • Foster EGNOS penetration in UAV control by addressing regulatory and legal aspects;
  • Develop an application for vineyards and potato crops;
  • Demonstrate FieldCopter to end users;
  • Demonstrate the commercial feasibility of the solution;
  • Assess the relevance and impact of EGNOS and Galileo for UAV navigation in precision agriculture;
  • Organise a Stakeholder Platform;
  • Organize two workshops at two conferences;
  • Disseminate the FieldCopter results to the scientific community and end users.
How does it work?: 

FieldCopter develops an operational UAS-based sensing service for precision agriculture. The selected SARAH platform uses EGNOS to fly accurate pre-programmed paths. FieldCopter delivers on-demand, very high resolution maps of agricultural fields to optimise crop management. Farmers can use the maps directly in the field and/or on the tractor. The main strength of the SARAH platform is its flexibility to acquire imagery under various weather conditions, regardless of cloud coverage.

Results: 

FieldCopter results in a UAS-based monitoring service. Market research primarily shows potential interest for high value crops. The project is therefore focusing on potato crops and vineyards. The FieldCopter will be equipped with state-of-the-art cameras for aerial photography in the desired spectral bands. The resulting imagery will be translated into special indices, which can be integrated in on-farm decision making about application of fertiliser, crop protection agents and water.

Next Steps: 

While operating the FieldCopter service, additional research will be conducted on new functions for the transfer of crop data into the application of doses for fertiliser and crop protection agents.

Images: 
FieldCopter Sarah with camera
FieldCopter false color image
FieldCopter vegatation index
FieldCopter potato haulm killing application

Project details

Name of the Project: 
FieldCopter
Acronym: 
FieldCopter
Name of Proposal: 
GPS-EGNOS based Precision Agriculture using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
Contract Number: 
277616-2
Classification: 
Galileo.2011.1.7-1 Use of Galileo and EGNOS services for mass market and in niche sectors (to be mainly provided by SMEs)
Total Cost: 
967 959 €
EU Contributions: 
616 979 €
Project Call: 
FP7 3rd Call
Start Date: 
01/01/2012
Duration: 
27
Project Type: 
Application
Coordinator: 
Paul van der Voet
1015 CV AMSTERDAM
Netherlands
Tel: 
+31 (0) 6681144782
Scientific Officer: 
Dr. Pablo Zarco-Tejada and Dr. Annibal Ollero
Partners: 

BE

  • Aurea Imaging
  • FlyingCam

ES

  • CSIC
  • FADA-CATEC

NL

  • AeroVision
  • TerraSphere (coordinator)