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Controller Design for an Osprey Drone to Support Precision Agriculture Research in Oil Palm Plantations

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... Land suitability is also assessed from considerations on soil components inferred from high-resolution digital images ( Rendana et al 2015). To optimize oil palm production, close-range photogrammetry is now a technique for precise agriculture (Shamshiri et al, 2017). In all these applications, none of the studies develop a hypothesis from tree colour variation, tree height variation, vegetation density, and topography. ...
... While there are few instances of applications in the assessment of land suitability in oil palm plantations (Shamshiri et al, 2017) close range photogrammetry is basically for other usages in the rubber tree plantations. The study by Stark et al (2017) on managing a rubber tree plantation does not include evaluations for terrain topology. ...
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The foremost and very important stage of any precise farming is the choice of land. Land for oil palm and rubber tree farming usually extends into hundreds of hectares which amount to rigorous fieldwork with conventional ground surveying techniques. In recent past, satellite remote sensing and aerial photogrammetry are used in large and medium scale mapping to ascertain land suitability for these farms. However, these techniques are capital intensive haven constraints on flexibility and frequency of surveys. Image resolutions also do not attain sub-pixel accuracies. Aside from terrain topography, other variables that verify critical inferences on land suitability are colour variation, height variation, and vegetation density. This study, therefore, examines the applicability of close-range photogrammetry in aiding critical management decision for land suitability on medium and large scale oil palm and rubber tree farming. The DJI Phantom 3 standard drone was used to Survey parts of the Nigeria Institute for Oil Palm Research and part of Rubber Research Institute of Nigeria both in Benin City, Nigeria. The aim is to ascertain the effectiveness of the drone's 1/2.3" CMOS 12 Megapixel Sensor and the inbuilt GPS for providing three-dimensional high-resolution images for deciding on topography, colour variations, height variations and vegetation density. The Pix4D and Agisoft software were both used to process the images. Digital models generated have 10cm spatial resolution on a three bandwidth able to delineate the spectral reflectance of the trees. Results obtained from this initial study encourage the need for further work.
... Vegetation indices are widely used for the estimation of crop status based on the amount of chlorophyll content by using visible and near-infrared (NIR) regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. Chlorophylls have strong absorption peaks in the red region and high reflectance peaks in the near-infrared region (Shamshiri et al., 2017). Maximal absorbance in the red region occurs between 660 nm and 680 nm. ...
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