SLANTRANGE Inc., a San Diego-based provider of drone-based remote sensing and analytics systems for agriculture, says it has been issued a new patent covering foundational technologies for aerial crop inspection and measurement.
Patent 9,470,579, issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, encompasses “the system and method for ensuring the accuracy of airborne imaging measurements,” explains Michael Ritter, CEO of SLANTRANGE.
“These measurements are subject to changing sunlight or atmospheric conditions, which are well understood within the industry to otherwise corrupt results,” he says.
According to the company, low-altitude remote sensing can accomplish the following:
- Alert growers to areas of nutrient deficiency or pest infestation for earlier and more precise treatment, which saves input and environmental costs and improves yields;
- Enable growers to optimize their management practices with more comprehensive and timely measures of crop health conditions; and
- Enable more accurate insurance and yield forecasting tools by quantifying new metrics of crop health condition throughout the growing season.
These new capabilities are critically dependent, however, on the accuracy of the underlying data, says SLANTRANGE.
The company adds that the patented system and method also incorporate technologies to measure sensor position, orientation and other environmental variables essential to efficiently reducing raw sensor data to actionable information anywhere in the world.