Sentera’s New Fixed-Wing UAV Provides Growers with Precise Grid Patterns

Sentera LLC has rolled out the Phoenix 2 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), a fixed-wing, hand-launched drone weighing four pounds and offering up to 60 minutes of flight endurance.

Sentera explains that the drone’s autopilot constantly auto-calculates and auto-optimizes according to the specified grid pattern in order to ensure collected data meets exact specifications.

According to the company, the new Phoenix 2 can carry multiple sensors, including the Sentera Double 4K sensor, providing true RGB and normalized difference vegetation index data; the Sentera Quad sensor, a multispectral, six-band imager with red-edge capabilities; the Sentera-Q for high-resolution orthomaps; and the radiometric thermal sensor, which builds high-resolution, true-temperature maps.

“Users can now collect highly detailed data quickly and with complete certainty about its accuracy,” explains Todd Colten, chief aerospace engineer for Sentera. Speaking on the autopilot, he says, “The grid pattern you specify is mapped pre-flight. The drone knows exactly what line to follow to get the exact looping radius and the exact flight level needed for perfect tiling.”

The Phoenix 2 includes the aircraft, the ground station, transportation cases, batteries, chargers and software with multiple training options.

“Growers are using the Phoenix 2 with agriculture-specific sensors to collect RGB, [near-infrared] and NDVI imagery. That imagery is so precise – [the growers] tell us they’re targeting and treating specific parts of their fields, and then they’re using fewer chemicals, saving money and increasing yields,” continues Colten. “Follow-up flights can be programmed to use the same pattern for exact data comparison at multiple times throughout the growing season.”



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