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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

ABOUT

Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) are an up-and-coming method in providing farmers with (near) real time sensing information for precision agriculture applications such as water stress monitoring, detection of nutrient deficiencies and crop diseases. The EU funded project FieldCopter provides state-of-the-art multi-spectral cameras on UAS that deliver the right information in the right time on the right spot, developing a complete solution for UAS sensing.

Existing components are brought together and required high precision navigation of EGNOS is added in order to create an autonomous flying camera that follows a predefined pattern. FieldCopter will demonstrate its operational viability in two distinct cases: potato growth- & vineyard monitoring. Next to potatoes and vineyards, the FieldCopter service will be explored simultaneously for other promising high value crops, such as vegetables, flowers and orchards (apples, oranges).

The consortium aims at a complete operational service, bringing together the necessary competences assembled on the platform: the sensing aspects, the navigation expertise and the market knowledge. FieldCopter allows farmers to create economical and ecological benefits through optimal use of resources like water, nutrients (potassium, nitrogen) and crop protection agents.

The initiative will also be useful to demonstrate how powerful the European high precision navigation system EGNOS is and what advantages its complete operational service has in the area of precision agriculture. FieldCopter started January 2012 and has a time span of 24 months. Six partners from The Netherlands, Belgium & Spain are involved.

Camera Tests


NEWS

Project Final Review Meeting

In February 2014, the FieldCopter project had its final review meeting.
Agricultural Study Group within UVS-International

All over the world, aviation authorities are working on defining the rules and procedures for a safe integration of UAS into the airspace.
EGNOS Enhanced Payload Management System

An important building block for the FieldCopter Service is the Payload Management System (PMS).
Added value of EGNOS and Galileo

Europe is developing its own satellite navigation system. Called Galileo, it comprises a constellation of 30 satellites, including 3 spares, and is designed to be superior to GPS in terms of accuracy and the integrity of its navigation signals.
Commercialisation

People that work on UAS, even in agriculture, do so mostly out of scientific or engineering curiosity.
Flying-Cam awarded a scientific Oscar

Flying Cam will be awarded a scientific Oscar!


Successful demo in Lleida

FieldCopter was visited by over 270 delegates from ECPA 2013 ...

United States Take Next Step in Plan to Integrate UAS

In order to ensure safe operations of UAS, especially with the increasing interest and development, the use of UAS is subject to legislation and regulations, which are part of the extensive field of aviation, and air traffic regulations. FieldCopter conforms to these requirements for service operations in agriculture and for this purpose licenses are relatively easily obtained.
The Benefits of Unmanned Aerial Systems under Cloudy Conditions

At the 9th European Conference on Precision Agriculture, held in Lleida (Spain) the principal benefits of the FieldCopter project were shown and discussed. Benefits of UAS include their flexible deployment at any time in the day and their ability to acquire imagery under cloudy conditions. However, the extent of these benefits had not been previously evaluated, so the project calculated the probability that usable satellite images would be unavailable because of cloud cover.

FieldCopter Workshop in Jerez

Following up the conference in Lleida, on October 25th 2013 a FieldCopter workshop was held in Jerez de la Frontera (Spain) focussing on the wine growing sector. More than 50 agricultural stakeholders from the wine sector in the Cadiz Province attended this workshop, interested in knowing the benefits of using UAS for remote sensing purposes in agriculture.

Successful demo in Raimat

On July 10, 2013 the Codorniu vineyard was the setting for an extensive field demonstration on precision agriculture and precision viticulture.

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Regulations

FieldCopter representing the Agricultural application area for RPAS was presented at the annual conference on RPAS policy & regulations.

 (photo UVS International)


The "16th International Conference on RPAS Integration into EU airspace" took place on 23-26 June 2014 in Brussels. National RPAS associations presented their needs and demands. Policy makers explained their progress on regulations and the roadmap for RPAS integration in airspace. On behalf of FieldCopter, Tamme van der Wal (AeroVision) presented the application in agriculture where farmers, agronomists and other advisory services are using RPAS to monitor crops and fields. FieldCopter developed a service to provide farmers with adequate imagery of their fields using the modified Sarah platform. Making use of the EGNOS augmentation signal, FieldCopter developed a payload management system dedicated for agricultural applications. Emphasising the need for safety procedures and regulations, FieldCopter nevertheless suggests that regulations in agriculture can be made proportional to the specific application and platforms used. Within UVS International several study groups exist that focus on particular topics. A study group on agricultural applications will be added, also as a result of this conference.


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FieldCopter System


First FieldCopter Demonstration

FieldCopter is carried out in the context of the Galileo FP7 R&D programme supervised by the GSA (Nr. 277612-2).