Inside Unmanned Systems

APR-MAY 2017

Inside Unmanned Systems provides actionable business intelligence to decision-makers and influencers operating within the global UAS community. Features include analysis of key technologies, policy/regulatory developments and new product design.

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39 unmanned systems inside April/May 2017 ENGINEERING. PRACTICE. POLICY. robot position its sensors at different heights, including above the plant canopy. For the field hyperspectral imaging sensor suite, the project team used: Resonon hyper- spectral imagers, ranged from 400-900nm and 900-1700nm (providing up to 400 bands with spectral resolution fine to 2nm for the plant biological sensing); a FLIR T1030sc thermal imager with uncooled micrometer ranging 7.5-14 micrometer (provides 1% tem- perature accuracy with GPS, compass infor- mation recorded); and a Canon EOS 7D Mark II, Visible camera with a 20MP dual-pixel AF CMOS sensor, providing a 10fps continuous shooting with autofocus. The sensor selection was based on availability, resolution, and ef- fectiveness of sensors, Chowdhary said. The robot uses real-time kinematic (RTK) GPS and inertial sensors for navigation and sonar to detect and avoid obstacles. "The good thing about working with crop plants is that, because they're in rows, the mapping problem is simplif ied," Chowd ha r y sa id. "However, unless the GPS anten- na sticks out of the canopy, get- ting your location can be difficult. Right now we use the boom to put the antenna well off the ground." "It's fully autonomous in terms of path- following," Chowdhary added. "Over time, we " THE AIM IS TO SEE WHAT A NEW GENE DOES IN A PLANT, OR WHAT EFFECTS AN HERBICIDE HAS." Girish Chowdhary, director, Distributed Autonomous Systems Lab $5,000 to $10,000 The target cost of the TERRA-MEPP robot. Source: Girish Chowdhary, University of Illinois fast fact

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