Parrot drone to cover 80ha in just half an hour

Consumer drones manufacturer Parrot is going professional, offering data capture and analysis packages for small- to medium-size businesses, starting with the agricultural and horticultural sectors.

The drone has the capability to cover 80ha in around 30 minutes.

Parrot is already a key player selling its popular Bebop and Disco models to the public.

However, the French company is expanding its offering having acquired interests in a number of related-technology companies, including fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) maker Airinov and software specialists MicaSense, Pix4D and senseFly.

See also: A grower’s guide to buying a drone

It is now combining products from these companies to create a crop-scouting package based on the Parrot Disco “flying wing”, customised for professional use.

The Parrot Disco-Pro AG package includes the company’s Sequoia compact multispectral sensor and Skycontroller2 long-range remote control; the flight plan app Pix4Dcapture; and access to the Airinov First+ online platform for image processing into usable maps.

Parrot drone image captureA reinforced fuselage enables the pusher propeller, fixed-wing Disco-Pro AG drone to accommodate the Sequoia sensor, which captures images of crops at 14.3cm per pixel resolution in both visible and invisible spectra, including near infrared.

Sunshine sensor

There is also a 16-megapixel camera and a luminosity or “sunshine” sensor that records light conditions to automatically calibrate collected data, which is stored on a 64-gigabyte memory chip.

Users can fly the drone on a pre-planned scouting route covering up to 80ha (200 acres) in around 30 minutes, or under manual control using Skyscanner2 wi-fi remote control with a 2km range.

Automatic anti-stall is included in the drone’s on-board control system, which is activated when the craft is thrown into the air, and a 14-megapixel nose camera can be used to capture video footage.