How to start using Agrohelper
What is AgroHelper?
AgroHelper is the most user friendly solution to process aerial imagery and analyze crop health.
You upload images or videos captured by drones and we turn them into actionable data that allows you to pinpoint the areas where the plants are under stress. It’s more precise and it’s cheaper and faster than traditional crop scouting by foot or terrestrial vehicle.
Who can use AgroHelper?
AgroHelper is build for professionals: farmers and drone operators.
We don’t like to sit all day in front of our computers, so we went in the farm field and designed a product to help you overcome your daily challenges.
The idea it’s to let you concentrate on what you are doing best. Our web platform is powerful and fast, yet simple to use.
What’s needed to get started?
To start using our product all you need is a drone equipped with either a standard camera or a near infrared camera.
You can use any commercial drone - we are independent software developers and we are not affiliated with any drone manufacturer.
Depending on your needs, you can do your aerial surveys with an easy to operate and relatively cheap consumer grade quadcopter, such as the DJI Phantom 3 model or with a professional grade fixed wing farm UAV. After the transition to the consumer market, the technology is becoming cheaper, lighter and safer.
What’s the difference between the standard and the near infrared camera?
Standard cameras capture Red, Green and Blue (RGB) light. If your images or videos are captured with a standard RGB camera, you can apply the Visible Atmospherically Resistant Index (VARI) to detect areas of crop stress in a field.
VARI introduces an atmospheric correction and measures the “greenness” of each image pixel. This algorithm provides useful information related to the variance in crop health at a single point in time and can be used to generate variable rate prescriptions.
In other words, with an RGB camera and VARI you can determine the relative health of your crops within the same map at given moment in time. To get the best results, the amount of sunlight and cloud coverage need to remain the same throughout the entire duration of your drone mission.
Most drones come with a stock standard RGB camera. If you already have one, it’s recommended that you start with it and see the results you can get before investing in a camera that can capture near-infrared images and videos. RGB cameras are also normally multipurpose, meaning that they can also capture high-quality videos.
Near-infrared (NIR) cameras can capture a combination of Near Infrared, Red, Green and Blue light. NIR image data sets and videos can be processed with the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI).
NDVI is calculated from the visible and near-infrared light reflected by vegetation. Healthy vegetation absorbs most of the visible light that hits it, and reflects a large portion of the near-infrared light. Unhealthy or sparse vegetation reflects more visible light and less near-infrared light.
Today, a drone equipped with a near infrared (NIR) camera becomes the gold standard in crop surveying. The advantage of NDVI is that you can detect crop health issues before they become visible to the human eye.
We assume that NIR infrared information is stored in the RED channel of an RGB image while the visible part of the reflectance information is in the BLUE channel. That would be the case when using a modified RGB camera with removed NIR filter and added a BLUE filter.