The Trimble UX5 unmanned aircraft system gives ag service providers a way to capture aerial images for scouting and monitoring crop health such as detecting pests, weeds and nitrogen deficiencies.
The system can locate cattle and available forage over large areas, measure crop height and generate topographic maps and models for land leveling and drainage applications, or give farmer advisors—such as agronomists, Trimble resellers and other ag service providers—a data collection tool that can aid with recommendations to improve farming operations.
It flies at 80 kilometers/hour (50 mph) and is stable in significant crosswinds and even light rain. In a single 50-minute flight, the Trimble UX5 system can cover a two square kilometer (0.8 square mile) area at five centimeter (two inch) image resolution. It comes with a camera modified to capture the near-infrared spectrum, which helps in deducing vegetation indexes for crop health assessment, and can capture a variety of images to be processed post flight. The output of a single flight provides geo-referenced precision images, a digital surface model showing elevations as a color image, and a dense 3D point cloud that includes elevations.
“The addition of the Trimble UX5 system strengthens our agriculture product portfolio and enables us to provide a solution that benefits a broad range of customers including growers, ranchers, water management contractors, agronomists and other ag service providers,” said Joe Denniston, vice president of Trimble’s Agriculture Division. “High-speed aerial imaging is a powerful tool that can quickly and easily locate problem areas to be addressed. The faster a problem area is discovered, the better the chance it can be evaluated and resolved before crop yield is impacted.”
Trimble provides training for system operators and their observers, which focuses on safety precautions and system applications. It’s available from Authorized Agriculture Distribution Partners and is subject to regulations and restrictions defined by local civil aviation authorities. Unmanned aircraft systems are currently not allowed to be flown in some regions or for certain applications.