Canon EOS Rebel SL1 DSLR
Canon EOS Rebel SL1 DSLR Camera Kit with converted to NIR for
conversion to NDVI imagery.
The HSE-CAM-AG1 is a Canon EOS SL1 DSLR
Camera which is converted to NIR type imagery. The conversion is to HSE
proprietary specifications for the best conversion to NDVI imagery by
the leader in the industry LDP LLC commonly known as maxmax.com. Feel
free to peruse the Maxmax.com website. Included with the camera is the
Maxmax software to convert to a simple NDVI. We recommend the use of
aftermarket data processors because there is a lot more to converting
the imagery into usable data, but this is good software to get started
with to learn the process of NDVI conversion.
Included with the HSE-CAM-AG1 is:
- Canon EOS SL1 DSLR Camera body modified for NIR to NDVI
- Canon EF-S 24mm Pancake Lens
- External Canon GP-E2 GPS Receiver
- Canon Hot Shoe / GPS Extension Cable made by Vello
- Remote Sensing Explorer Software
It is vital that the proper camera and lens be used for quality NDVI
conversion. There are several companies which specialize in cameras for
NDVI. We have tested many of them at great expense. Some cameras are
over $20,000. There are many different attributes which are critical to
obtaining proper imagery which can then be converted for use by many
types of softwares for NDVI. The camera is the most important part of
the selection process BY FAR. If you purchase a camera which is too slow
or with inadequate imagery you will probably purchase the wrong airframe
to carry it as well and you will have a total loss on your hands. The
camera and lens is proprietary.
- Distortion: It is very important that the lens has very
little edge distortion, and the filters are high quality glass which
offer low distortion throughout the image.
- GPS: The GPS must be fairly accurate for precision
agriculture work, but not sub centimeter accuracy. For volumetrics,
then a higher precision GPS is required.
- Camera resolution: The ground resolution changes with
altitude, the higher the flight, the lower the resolution. Starting
with a very high resolution camera allows higher and faster flights
which reduce flight times and thus operating costs. Resolution is
all about the sensor size, not the mega pixels. The chart below
shows sensor sizes. Spending a little more on a camera is a
no-brainer! It will pay itself back in shorter mission times after a
- Weight: The weight of the camera is important because
this determines the size of the airframe necessary to lift it. Full
frame cameras are very large and heavy, and they can be supported
with the RF70. The advantage of the RF70 is that it is large enough
to carry larger cameras, but can also carry smaller cameras as well.
It is a very flexible airframe which allows a variety of equipment
to be used.
- Lens: The lens of the camera is critical in terms of
focal length and to a lesser degree aperture. The focal length
determines the altitude that the UAV must fly to obtain a given
resolution. After exhaustive study we have determined the best
price/performance lens. It has the best blend of performance
specifications to allow the fastest airspeeds. It has very low
distortion, especially edge distortion which allows for fewer photos
to be taken and fewer bad photos which must be discarded.
Image processing is required to convert the hundreds or thousands of
images into one image, and then that is converted to what is known as
NDVI. We have relationships with PhD agronomists with decades of
experience in precision agriculture. If you are already performing these
processes then the equipment we offer will provide you with excellent
results. If you have not been involved with this specific image
processing in the past, then it is highly recommended that you contact a
professional processor as the procedures are very tedious and require
much time, computing power, and monetary investment. You can purchase
Pix4D or an equivalent for $5,000, spend thousands on a high speed
computer, take countless classes, and still be frustrated. To reiterate,
it is highly recommended to start off using post processing services
from a company such as Roboflight. Roboflight, and other companies, have
upload portals to upload images, super computers to process the data
efficiently, specialized software, and PhD agronomists to provide you
with the proper data. Get your business up and running using a data
processor, first, and if, later, you find you have excess time, money,
and patience, you may attempt to process the data yourself. Even then,
the cost assessment and resulting quality of data between using an
online post data processing service and performing the task yourself is
highly in favor of using an online service. Provided you have the proper
background, this may not pertain to you; however, for those who are
inexperienced in this type of data processes, using an online data
processor is strongly recommended. Using an online service is both more
cost effective and simpler (no equipment to purchase or software to
lease) and the results are guaranteed. Using one of these services will
guarantee the availability of the data to your customer for certain.
Sensor Size Comparison: The HSE APS-C (Canon) vs. typical
point & shoot camera 1/2.3. Sensor size, not MP is the determining
factor for imagery in NDVI applications. APS-C (Canon) sensor is nearly
8 times larger than the 1/2.3 sensor. Dont be fooled by MP! This
means that far fewer photos need to be taken using the APS-C (Canon)
format than the 1/2.3 sensor. This translates to much shorter flight
times and much faster data processing times. Dont spend any more time
in the field than is absolutely necessary. Cloud cover and other weather
conditions can spoil data, and time is money!
This camera is backed by a 30 day warranty
against manufacturer's defects/
A simple overview of how drones are used in the
farming industry to provide aerial imagery to create NDVI maps to
improve crop yields, reduce farming costs, protect the environment and
quantify crop damage insurance claims
The FAA recognizes that drones are essential to
increasing the productivity of farmlands. Small drones pose a limited
risk of injuring people, other aircraft, and property. Thus FAA approval
to use drones for farming is coming soon.
Probable FAA policies will revolve around safety, primarily collision
- Daylight operation
- LOS (Line of Sight) Operation
- 400' Ceiling
- Various safety devices, pilot and aircraft certifications, training,
safety protocols, etc.
Agronomists using drones to assist their
recommendations for fertilizer and pesticide application can improve the
bottom line to farmers by as much as 15%, and help the environment as
The world's farmers must increase yields to
feed the world's rapidly growing population. Drones are the latest
technological advancement to assist in increasing crop yields while
lowering pollution and costs.
Large fields and tall crops are extremely
difficult to assess from the ground. Drones provide aerial access at a
relatively low cost.
Agronomists operate the drones themselves or
hire local drone service providers to fly the fields.
Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) is an extremely important
tool to determine if crops are stressed. NDVI compares bands of light to
accurately determine plant stress. This is state of the art technology.
Wikipedia explains NDVI in detail.
Photos directly from the onboard NDVI
compatible camera are unusable as is. The photos must undergo special
First, individual photos are stitched together
to make one large photo. Online processors are used for this operation
due to the high cost and complexity of the hardware and software.
The high quality single image is converted to a
NDVI image. NDVI processing software is inexpensive and easy to use
though the same online processors who stitched the photos offer this
The agronomist uses both the normal and the
NDVI images with more traditional methods to assess plant stress.
Plant stress can be detected well before it can be seen with the naked
eye as well as after obvious damage is apparent.
The agronomist then performs "ground truthing"
combined with other traditional methods to verify the NDVI data and
determine the cause of the stress. Often the agronomist physically walks
into the field and looks at the plants where the NDVI has identified
The agronomist then makes recommendations to
the farmer. If variable rate applicators are used by the farmer, then
varying rates of fertilizer and pesticides are recommended which reduce
treatment costs, protect the environment by reducing unnecessary
over-applications, and increase yields.
The three photos below are all derived from only one camera. Special
processing converts the image from the NIR (red) image that is taken by
the onboard camera to the "EO" (normal) image as well as the "NDVI"
image. Only the EO (Electro-Optical or "normal") and the NDVI images are
used by the agronomist. In the NDVI image the green areas are healthy,
the red are not. The area we are concerned with is marked with a blue
border. The area is a sod farm. In the NDVI photo the dark green areas
around the sod is trees. The large patches of red are areas which were
harvested. The red line down the middle is a dirt road. The small red
patches of red mixed into the healthy green area are problem areas. The
problem is confirmed by looking at the EO photo and by physically
walking into the field. There is no grass in the red spots. While you
see a low resolution image here, the resolution of the actual photo is
high enough to see individual blades of grass! The agronomist saves time
because if bare earth, standing water or another obvious problem is
identified using the EO image there is no need to walk the field. The
sod farmer in this case uses this data to identify excessively large
bare spots early on in the growing cycle to replant problem areas and
improve yield per acre.
Species Detection: Canadian Thistle
An NDVI map helped confirm the presence
of a Canadian Thistle infestation on this 122 acre corn field. A
flat rate herbicide prescription was applied to the entire
As shown in the aerial imagery,
inspections confirmed that only 0.6 acres required treatment. An
herbicide reduction of over 99% would have been possible with a
variable rate prescription, decreasing the overall environmental
impact and yield loss.
What is the Normalized Difference
Vegetation Index (NDVI)?
NDVI maps are useful for detecting
plant stress that may be invisible to the human eye. By
measuring the spectral characteristics of plants with remote
sensors, vigor can be assessed based on the amount of visible
light being absorbed in relation to the amount of near-infrared
light being reflected by the plant. The healthier the plant, the
greater the difference between the two spectral values.
Location: NE Kansas
10 gallons/acre (diluted)
6.6 pints/acre (concentrate)
Flat rate area:
Variable rate area:
(-) 0.60 acres
|1,212.2 gallons (diluted)
100.0 gallons (concentrate)
Cost Savings Impact
Flat rate treatment
Variable rate &
Net cost reduction
Potential savings / total acreage
($3,424.50 / 121.82) =
INPUT COST SAVINGS:
Intelligent Imaging Package
Canon EOS Rebel SL1 DSLR
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