Field researchers


Almost overnight drones have significantly improved our ability to collect high-resolution geospatial data at repeated time intervals. From archeological digs of ancient temples to zoological expeditions to the far reaches of the globe, we are seeing drone technology transform field research. Parrot Education is excited to support faculty, postdocs, graduate students, technicians and undergraduate field assistants in their work.



HARDWARE

Sensefly eBee

Parrot is the parent company of Sensefly, the creator of a profession mapping drone called eBee. The eBee is an ultra-light vehicle (just 700 g or 1.5 lb) that leads the professional industry in ease use. eBee has a simple and intuitive mission plan ning and management software (eMotion). Then to launch it, you just shake it to start the motors, throw the vehicle into the air, it captures images, and lands itself. With eBee, you can swap out payloads for an RGB camera, thermal, and the new Parrot multispectral camera, Sequoia, for 4 band spectral mapping of vegetation.

You can find a range of eBee case studies here

Parrot Sequoia

The Parrot Sequoia camera is the smallest, lightest multispectral sensor ever released. It captures images across four defined, visible and non-visible spectral bands, plus RGB imagery, in just one flight. Sequoia is immediately compatible with the eBee courtesy of senseFly’s proprietary eBee Integration Kit. It can also fit on just about any other drone using a standard GoPro sized mount. Sequoia enables the calculation of standard plant indices, such as NDVI, which expand beyond just agricultural applications to any area relevant to vegetation monitoring, including ecology, forestry, invasive species monitoring, restoration, grazing management, etc… Sequoia comes with an external irradiance sensor that can be mounted on the back of the drone . During the flight the irradiance will continuously sense and record the light conditions in the same spectral bands as the multispectral sensor. The light data thus collected allows the values of the identified spectral signatures to be confirmed and correct for differences in light conditions over time.The irradiance sensor also has a built in GPS. Therefore, you can trigger the camera by time (intervalometer) or distance using a calculator built into the Sequoia software.


Bebop 2

Don’t underestimate Bebop 2 when it comes to data collection, especially if you are just getting into drones for your research! Bebop 2 is an ultra-light vehicle (500 g) is capable of flying both indoors and under a wide range of wind conditions outdoors. Using the Pix4D capture app turns Bebop 2 into a professional mapping tool. Capture allows you to select a flight plan and capture image data for creating georeferenced maps and models. After your mission, just transfer the project from your phone to computer, either directly from the drone or via Pix4Dcloud.

SOFTWARE

In addition to hardware, its crucial you think about what photogrammetric stitching platform for your research. Your data are only as good as your stitching engine. At Parrot Education, we think that Pix4D is the most power engine in the world, with excellent measurement tools available, and the ability to simply export standard data formats to other GIS platforms. Note: Pix4D is also the only software at the moment that will support stitching on the Parrot Sequoia camera.

Pix4D (macOS, Windows)

The world leader in professional photogrammetry software, Pix4D automatically converts images taken by hand, by drone, or by plane, and delivers highly precise, georeferenced 2D maps and 3D models. The free Discovery version is available for teaching, along with full educational single licenses and a 25-seat classroom license for sale.



More info

Pix4D Capture (iOS , Android)

This app turns Bebop 2 into a mapping tool. With it, you can easily define single or multiple flight missions around your area of interest, customize altitude, image overlap, and camera angle for optimal mapping results.

Capture allows you to select a flight plan and capture image data, ready for creating georeferenced maps and models using the Pix4D software. After your mission, just transfer the project from your phone to computer, either directly from the drone or via Pix4Dcloud.



More info

Research collaborations


Do you have a great field project that uses Parrot products that you would like us to know about? We at Parrot Education would love to hear what you are up to, see your cool video and maps and (if you’re interested) help promote your research within our company or to the larger academic drone community! Feel free to reach out to us using the contact form.