MicaSense has released Altum, a new sensor designed for professional-grade agricultural mapping with drones.
According to MicaSense, Altum captures synchronized multispectral and thermal imagery, enabling aligned outputs for advanced analytics. Researchers, growers and service providers can capture data on, for example, plant health, water stress and phenotyping – in one flight with one sensor.
“The Altum design resulted from experience developing advanced analytics and understanding needs for advanced research,” says Justin McAllister, chief technology officer and co-founder of MicaSense. “We realized the market is limited by time and cost constraints of owning multiple sensors and flying multiple passes over the same field. The goal of Altum is to simplify the workflow, and with synchronized capture, to provide results that can be correlated and quantified more easily.”
Altum includes MicaSense’s standard five-band configuration of multispectral bands (red, green, blue, near-infrared and red-edge) and an integrated Lepton radiometric thermal longwave infrared sensor from FLIR Systems, providing temperature measurement. Expandable, high-capacity USB 3.0 storage allows users to fly longer and cover more area without landing to swap storage, the company notes. In addition, advancements in image capture rate enable faster flight speeds.
Users can process Altum data with software such as Agisoft and Pix4Dmapper to generate an aligned, radiometrically calibrated, six-band geotiff or access the raw data from Altum to process data themselves.
Included with Altum is DLS 2, the patent-pending next generation of the MicaSense Downwelling Light Sensor (DLS). DLS 2 allows for a more streamlined integration, as it combines both the DLS and GPS into one product. In addition, through proprietary MicaSense technology, the DLS 2 will offer significantly better calibration for changing light conditions and better measurements over time, says MicaSense.
Altum’s multiple interface options and open API give users the ability to use Altum on a variety of platforms, the company notes. In addition to a DJI SkyPort integration, Altum is integrated with several drone offerings (with more to come):
Drone Nerds, BirdsEyeView Aerobotics, OmniView Tech, Sky Flight Robotics, Blue Skies Drone Rental
3D Target, Globe Flight, C-Astral, Droneparts.de, Ecobotix, NaviGate, Quantum Systems
Cybernetech, Shenzhen Qianhai Yaqi Technology