UAV Drought Mapping Crop Stress in Rural Australia

The drought continues into early spring in Australian fields, and the crops need a good rain before the hot, dry summer comes at the end of the calendar year.  The ABC Rural story on the rains is intermixed with a interpolated map of rainfall across Australia.

Now, compare this to the weather radar range of Australia, the Strategic Enhanced Radar Project (SERP) has many large areas that are not covered by a radar.  There are many farmers and other agriculture interests in those radar holes (unlike the United States where most large radar gaps are in the Rocky Mountains and Alaska, our agriculture areas are better covered, but can always improve).

This opens up a market for the growing UAV market a few posts ago.  While the meteorological data will remain ground recording stations, plant growth and stress can be evaluated with UAVs with color and/or color-IR multispectral scanners.

Unlike the United States, all you need in Australia to fly small UAVs is a UAV Controller Certificate.  There are also rules against flying in cities, within 5.5km of airports, under 400ft, 30m away from cars, boats, etc…  Which is possible for farmers out in the field.  This will not be available in the United States before September 2015.

While there are local UAV operators in Australia, Hexagon Geospatial‘s Aibotix UAV company is able to operate internationally.  Contact for more.




About Chuck Schoeneberger

Former forecaster at Meridian Environmental Technologies Inc (now a Interis Company), with a background in GIS and LiDAR, with other stints at GeoSpatial Services of Winona, MN and Aerometric (Now Quantum Spatial) of Sheboygan, WI. He is a weather technologist for public storm safety from a local to international level. LinkedIn Profile: His views are his own and not of his employer.
This entry was posted in GIS, Meteorology, Photogrammerty, UAV and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to UAV Drought Mapping Crop Stress in Rural Australia

  1. Reblogged this on GIS Enthusiast and commented:
    UAV application in drought mapping

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