Sentera Rolls out New Sensor Solutions for Drone Precision Ag


Minneapolis-based drone technology company Sentera has announced new additions to its small, lightweight Single sensor product family.

The new “High-Precision NDVI Single and High-Precision NDRE Single” use patent-pending technology to improve spectral band separation and generate more accurate vegetation index measurements, the company says. The High-Precision Single sensor is available in two variants: normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and normalized difference red edge (NDRE).

As with all members of the Single product line, the new sensors integrate onto any drone – helping agronomists, consultants and producers identify growth issues. The sensors are available pre-installed on DJI Phantom 4, Mavic and Inspire equipment or as dealer-installed upgrades to customer-owned drones.

“We are excited to introduce our high-precision sensors, offering ag professionals more accurate and affordable crop health data collection options than ever before,” comments Eric Taipale, CEO of Sentera.

According to the company, the new sensor will make it easier for users to integrate satellite-based index data with drone-based index data. The high-precision filters more closely match the spectral filtering used on most space-based imagers but retain the same advantages in image resolution compared with satellites.

Sentera says the High-Precision NDVI and NDRE Single sensors collect the precise, narrow bands that agronomists, crop consultants and growers rely on to help determine crop vigor. Sentera’s filtering technology effectively rejects out-of-band leakage before it can contaminate the measurement and lead to error in vegetative index computation.

“Targeted data capture allows users to filter out ‘spectral noise’ and collect only the isolated emissions in the red, red edge and NIR bands – true indicators of crop health,” explains Ryan Nelson, chief mechanical engineer for Sentera. “You can be confident that what the sensor identifies as red, red edge or NIR content is truly within the proper spectral region. This means you are getting the most reliable, accurate and precise NDVI and NDRE data available today.”

Moreover, the company says, converted point-and-shoot cameras or modified drone cameras without proper filtering will exhibit out-of-channel leakage, producing less accurate index. However, Sentera’s High-Precision Single sensors use specialized filters – enabling NDVI and NDRE data capture with high precision, the company claims.

Nelson adds, “With many cameras currently on the market, you’ll see a significant amount of overlap between color channels that affects the accuracy of vegetative health index. When developing our High-Precision Agriculture Sensor line, we implemented advanced filtering techniques that provide precise spectral data with complete band separation so users can be confident that they’re collecting accurate and reliable NDVI or NDRE measurements every time.”

Sentera notes that its precision ag sensor solutions, combined with AgVault Web, desktop and mobile software, offer users an end-to-end data capture solution.

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