Precision farming is set to become even more precise with a new camera drawing on satellite imaging.
Thanks to research with ESA on new cameras, hyperspectral cameras flying on drones are now able to see details as small as 4–5 cm.
Three customers are already using the first version of the ButterflEYE LS camera: in Denmark for biological diversity studies, in Australia for agricultural research, and in Italy for providing commercial data to farmers.
“Our first customers were really keen on getting the high resolution, which is the best you can currently get from a hyperspectral product,” notes René Michels, CEO of Germany’s airborne specialist Cubert, who collaborated with Belgium’s VITO Remote Sensing and imec for the camera development.
The camera exploits the potential of a novel hyperspectral imaging chip from imec by combining it with VITO’s image processing honed by working with ESA on remote sensing satellites.
Weighing just 400g, the powerful camera fits easily on a small unmanned aircraft to deliver detailed measurements for precision agriculture but it has also potential in forestry, biomass monitoring, waste and pollution management.