At DJI Airworks this morning, DJI announced a new integrated tool to take precision agriculture to the next level: the P4 Multispectral, a totally integrated multispectral imaging drone. Jan Gasparic, DJI’s Director of Strategic Partnerships, told a group of media professionals yesterday that the new offering represents a push forward in precision agriculture. “Historically, farmers have faced significant challenges in adopting new technologies,” says Gasparic. “Technology needs to be easy to use.”
The totally integrated 6 band camera on the proven P4 platform brings that ease of use to the field. On top of the drone is a sunlight sensor that captures ambient sunlight, which gives more accurate and consistent data.
There are 3 major benefits to agronomists to using drone data, explains Gasparic: “You can scout fields in less time. You can see the unseen. And you can make decisions mid-season.” Gasparic points out that the data quality from drones is far better than that from satellites: it’s not only a closer view, but the data can be available in reat time. Gasparic showed an impressive demonstration of a field map produced by DJI partner DroneDeploy, using their LiveMap technology: processed in real time so that the farmer on the field edge has immediate access to the usable data. Taking the stage at AirWorks this morning, DroneDeploy CEO Mike Winn says his company has been doing precision agriculture since 2014 – and “What’s exciting about agriculture now is the scale,” says Winn. DroneDeploy makes drone software – and with 5,000 customers performing over 1 million flights per year and mapping an area the size of the entire state of California, they’ve seen real scale happening across industries.
Enterprise scale is a huge issue in the drone industry. In agriculture, Winn says that they were asked from the very beginning if they could deliver mapping data immediately. Now, with LiveMap, they can: and Winn says that they see farmers starting to walk over to examine trouble spots while the drone is still in the air. “That’s true time to value,” says Winn. “And that’s enabling true scale.”
“Reliability, ease of use, and time to value,” says Winn. “Those are the real enablers of scale – and we see that with the P4 M.”
The following is a DJI press release.
DJI Introduces P4 Multispectral For Precision Agriculture and Land Management
World’s First Integrated Multispectral Imaging Drone Built to Power Farming’s Next Generation
September 24, 2019 – DJI, the world’s leader in civilian drones and aerial imaging technology, is settinga new standard for easy-to-use agricultural drone applications with P4 Multispectral, the world’s first fully integrated multispectral imaging drone designed for precision agriculture and environmental management.
P4 Multispectral combines data from six separate sensors to measure the health of crops, from individual plants to entire fields, as well as weeds, insects and a variety of soil conditions. With the agriculture drone market expected to grow from $1.2 billion USD in 2019 to 4.8 billion by 2024, P4 Multispectral provides farmers and agronomists with a new tool to improve crop yields, cut costs and helps environmental professionals easily monitor vegetation on the land they manage.
“P4 Multispectral has the promise to transform the agriculture and land management industries by collecting precise plant-level data without having to send personnel into the field for manual surveys,” said Jan Gasparic, Director of Strategic Partnerships at DJI. “By combining multispectral imaging into a trusted, efficient and affordable tool, DJI is making this transformative technology more accessible to professionals around the world who are pioneering the adoption of drones in their industries.”
Precise Multispectral Imaging
P4 Multispectral features a gimbal-stabilized imaging system composed of one RGB camera and a multispectral camera array with five narrow band sensors – including red edge and near infrared – that are capable of capturing visible and invisible light. This data gives trained professionals unique insights into vegetation stress, soil composition as well as water salinity and contamination. An additional integrated spectral sunlight sensor maximizes the accuracy and consistency of data collection during missions flown at different times of day.
Seamless integration into the DJI Ground Station Pro flight planning app allows pilots to switch between real-time views of the drone’s RGB video camera and Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) output for immediate insights while in the field. An integrated RTK positioning module and TimeSync system support real-time, accurate positioning data for each image, optimizing photogrammetric results and providing centimeter-level accurate measurements.
Industry Workflow Compatibility
P4 Multispectral is compatible with standard industry workflows including flight programming, mapping, and analytics software from DJI and other leading providers. Using the DJI GS Pro application, users can create automated and repeatable missions including flight planning, mission execution, and flight data management. Data collected can be easily imported into DJI Terra or a suite of third-party software including Pix4D Mapper and DroneDeploy, for analysis and to generate additional vegetation index maps. In addition, P4 Multispectral users can enhance the accuracy of RTK positioning without an internet connection by using DJI’s D-RTK 2 High-Precision GNSS Mobile Station, whichsupports all major global satellite navigation systems, or using a third-party network RTK via an iPad with an internet connection.
Built on the iconic Phantom airframe, P4 Multispectral leverages DJI’s powerful OcuSync transmission system for a smooth flight experience with less signal interference, enhanced video transmission, and a 7km maximum transmission range.Each of its 2-megapixel cameras feature a global shutter for precise imaging during flight with a maximum 27 minutes of flight time per battery.
DJI P4 Multispectral will be available in October through authorized DJI Enterprise dealers worldwide. The P4 Multispectral costs $6,499 USD and comes with a 1-year free license to DJI Terra (Basic) Windows software and a 1-year free license to DJI GS Pro (Team-Professional) iPad app. Customers can also purchase the P4 Multispectral with the D-RTK 2 Mobile Base Station for a total of $9,100 USD. All purchases of a P4 Multispectral in the United States, Canada, China, Australia, Japan, United Kingdom and the European Union will enjoy a 1-year Enterprise Shield Basic coverage on their new drone, at no additional cost.
To find a local Enterprise dealer, visit www.dji.com/where-to-buy.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam.
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