Two year Research Project Targets Agricultural Productivity

Project URSULA (UAS Remote Sensing for Use in Land Applications) was launched  by Welsh Assembly Minister for Rural Affairs, Elin Jones. The 2 year research and development programme will explore the potential for advanced remote sensing, using small unmanned aircraft, for use in land applications, primarily high input arable farming. The project is supported by the Welsh Assembly Government.

Gubua Group Flying Wing

URSULA will develop market-focussed data products based on imagery captured by a range of sensors mounted in small unmanned aircraft with a launch anywhere, anytime capability. Combining the innovative remote sensing platform with novel processing techniques, URSULA provides a disruptive technology which will open up new avenues for flexible, cost-effective, high resolution data provision. It is anticipated that this will accelerate the adoption of precision farming principles at a critical time for the industry.

There is a growing need for timely, accurate, detailed information on our land as we place greater pressure upon it. A rising population coupled with changes in demand and increasing scarcity of critical resources such as water and energy will place ever-increasing pressure on the land to perform multiple functions. Our food system needs to be sustainable – and economically viable – whilst adapting to climate change and contributing to climate change mitigation.

Project URSULA aims to satisfy some of these needs and provides an opportunity to develop and demonstrate a number of leading edge capabilities such as:

  • Technical agriculture
  • Environmental understanding
  • Increased flexibility in routine UAS operations
  • Advanced algorithm development and data interpretation

A key advantage of UAS remote sensing is the ability to obtain timely higher resolution data than can be currently be achieved, and to use this to drive improved performance, including:

  • Precision agriculture practices:
    • Managing fertilisers, nutrients
    • Variable seed rates
    • Soil moisture indicators
  • Yield assessment
  • Disease and stress detection:
    • Managing pesticides
    • invasive weed mapping
  • Sustainable land management

Our engagement with stakeholders and end users ensures agriculturally led data interpretation and individual farm-level knowledge makes the most of the remote sensing data.

Courtesy SUAS News

ND company specializes in aerial crop imagery

By: Jonathan Knutson

GRAND FORKS, N.D. — When David Dvorak launched Field of View in 2010, he foresaw a bright future for aerial crop imagery. Today, after working with farmers, agronomists and even a South American plantation manager, he’s more optimistic than ever.

“A few years ago, there was some behind-the-scenes interest in this,” says Dvorak, CEO of Grand Forks, N.D.-based Field of View.

Now, “I’m quietly confident there’s this perfect storm brewing where the precision agriculture market really takes off and the civil UAS (unmanned aircraft system) market takes off. They’re both on a trajectory to make that happen about the same time,” he says.

Field of View’s mission is to “bridge the gap between unmanned aircraft and precision agriculture,” according to the company’s website.

Its flagship product, GeoSnap, is an add-on device for multispectral cameras mounted on either manned or unmanned aircraft. Such cameras capture images in the red, green and near-infared bands, allowing users to visualize plant stress better than they can with most other camera systems, Dvorak says.

GeoSnap takes images captured by the multispectral camera and maps them with real-world coordinates, a process known as georeferencing. That allows users to know the aerial images’ exact location on the ground.

“It’s a very complex process. We developed a product that hopefully makes the process easier,” Dvorak says.

GeoSnap costs about $5,000 per unit, with the multispectral cameras costing about $4,000 each.

Field of View only recently began selling the add-on devices. So far, the company has sold a half-dozen, including one to NASA.

Dvorak thinks NASA will use the GeoSnap to learn more about vegetative cover on Earth, though he isn’t sure of specifics.

GeoSnap generally has drawn more interest overseas because other countries have fewer restrictions on air space, he says.

Read More: Praire News


Schiebel has successfully concluded a series of flight trials with EADS Astrium’s Pseudolite-based Local Positioning System “DeckFinder”, expanding its automated launch and recovery capability for operatiosn where access to GPS has been denied.

Schiebel integrated the DeckFinder Receiver Segment into a CAMCOPTER® S-100 and deployed the DeckFinder Ground Segment at the Schiebel Testing Grounds close to Vienna, Austria, earlier this year, enabling a joint team to conduct a week-long flight campaign with the goal of testing and evaluating the capabilities that DeckFinder adds in terms of highly accurate automated operations.

CAMCOPTER_S-100_125_GPS Denial
“By feeding the position data generated by the Astrium DeckFinder System directly into the avionics of our CAMCOPTER® S-100, we are now able to operate fully automatically, independent from Global Positioning Systems (GPS) during hovering, approach and landing, enabling us to launch and recover in environments that no-one has been able to perform before”, Hans Georg Schiebel, Chairman of the Schiebel Group, explains.

DeckFinder is a Local Positioning System consisting of a ground segment of six Radio-Frequency-based Transmitters (Pseudolites) and a corresponding airborne receiver. Based on GPS-independent range measurements it provides the CAMCOPTER® avionics with highly accurate and relative 3D position information that allows the S-100 to
navigate with an accuracy better than 20 cm over the landing zone, placing Schiebel’s customers in a unique position to operate the CAMCOPTER® with high degrees of autonomy during periods of GPS denial from small vessel decks under demanding environmental conditions, a scenario that we see increasing in the future.

About the CAMCOPTER® S-100:

Schiebel’s CAMCOPTER® S-100 Unmanned Air System (UAS) is a proven capability for military and
civilian applications. The Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) UAS needs no prepared area or supporting
launch or recovery equipment. It operates in day and night, under adverse weather conditions, with a
beyond line-of-sight capability out to 200 km, both on land and at sea. The S-100 navigates via preprogrammed
GPS waypoints or is operated with a pilot control unit. Missions are planned and controlled via
a simple point-and-click graphical user interface. High definition payload imagery is transmitted to the
control station in real time. Using “fly-by-wire” technology controlled by a triple-redundant flight computer,
the UAV can complete its mission automatically. Its carbon fiber and titanium fuselage provides capacity for
a wide range of payload/endurance combinations up to a service ceiling of 18,000 ft. In its standard
configuration, the CAMCOPTER® S-100 carries a 75 lbs/34 kg payload up to 10 hours and is powered with
AVGas or heavy fuel.

See more at Schiebel





Unmanned Systems Australia, is the authorised distributor and on-seller of the Schiebel S-100 CAMCOPTER UAS in Australia.  Unmanned Systems Australia provides Consulting and Training Services in the area of unmanned aerial systems as well as unattended and remotely monitored ground sensors, target acquisition systems and surveillance devices.  Based in Brisbane, Australia, Unmanned Systems Australia capitalizes on over 24 years experience in the employment of Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) systems.

See more at