Sentera, a manufacturer of remote-sensing technologies for precision agriculture, has announced the Omni quadcopter drone to capture three distinct crop health data measurements in a single flight: thermal, normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), and high-resolution RGB. The Omni (ie omnidirectional) pairs a DJI XT Thermal sensor with Omni’s standard Double 4K to offer agronomists a precise agriculture data capture tool that offers multi-dimensional insights.
“We are excited to respond to our customers’ unique application needs and extend the Omni Ag system’s already robust payload capabilities to include thermal imaging,” remarks Kris Poulson, vice president of agriculture for Sentera. “The ability to access three precise layers of data in one flight helps create an even greater scouting experience. The added ability to capture thermal data allows professionals to further evaluate plant health and practices as reflected through plant and soil temperatures.”
Poulson explains, “The ability to quickly and accurately pinpoint plants that appear to be sick is critical. With this knowledge, users can quickly ground-truth the area and take the appropriate action before a problem potentially gets worse.”
Thermal technology is also ideal for the irrigated crops. A thermal measurement can quickly show where areas within a field are under or over-irrigated, or where equipment is malfunctioning.
Thermal sensors are also useful when locating or confirming installation of subsurface drainage. “Historically, the most common way to detect preinstalled drain tile was to probe and dig, which was extremely inefficient and time-consuming. Now, through thermal technology, users can identify cooler areas of a field which would be an indication of the presence of drain tile. Users then can focus their efforts on that area,” says Poulson.
The Sentera Omni Ag drone with DJI XT Thermal Sensor is also compatible with Sentera’s other Double 4K sensor variants, including the multispectral Double 4K sensor. The DJI XT Thermal sensor and Sentera Double 4K sensors are available through Sentera’s extensive dealer network.