Sentera, LLC, a Minnesota-based drone and data management systems provider, on Monday announced the release of an NDVI upgrade for the DJI Inspire series that retains the full functionality of the UAVs 360° camera capabilities.
The upgrade, which was previously only available for the Phantom 3, integrates Sentera’s precision Single Sensor, allowing for the capture of near-infrared imagery and production of normalized vegetation difference index maps.
The Single Sensor offers 1.2MP or 10MP NDVI and a global shutter for clear aerial data collection. It also seamlessly integrates with Sentera’s AgVault software, allowing growers to easily leverage crop health imagery at the field edge, where immediate action can be taken.
According to a company spokesperson, utilizing an NDVI sensor versus the Inspire’s onboard camera allows for the detection of slightly longer wavelengths in the near infrared band (NIR), providing critical information that cannot be collected with a typical camera.
Light reflected in the NIR band is correlated to the biological processes taking place in plant material, and the combination of the non-visual NIR band and the light that our eyes see as red results in an NDVI value.
Photos that are produced from the sensor are also suitable for stitching with third party platforms like Pix4D and Drone Deploy.
“To stay competitive, growers require real-time visibility of crop health data while using existing or low-cost precision agriculture tools,” said Kris Poulson, vice president of agriculture for Sentera, adding that the pairing “allows growers to add critical NIR and NDVI capabilities to a robust commercial drone.”
Existing Inspire drones can be sent directly to Sentera or a Sentera-authorized reseller, where technicians integrate a high-precision Single Sensor into the drone ($2,599 as of press time; approx. one-week turnaround time, not counting shipping times). Alternatively, growers or other drone operators wishing to obtain a new Inspire with NDVI capabilities may purchase both items directly through Sentera at the same time ($5,699 as of press time).
To learn more, visit the Sentera website here.