17 Oct

How aerial drone mapping for weed control works

Having trouble controlling weeds?

Aerial drone mapping could be just the tool you need.

But before we cover how aerial drone mapping for weed control works, let’s look at why aerial drone mapping is such a helpful tool in the first place…


The advantages of aerial drone mapping

Aerial drones have provided a revolution in photogrammetric mapping, because they provide high resolution orthomosaic images on-demand which are repeatable over time. Introducing these georeferenced images into mapping software allows for accurate measurements, and this is useful for survey and monitoring projects. For weed surveys the aerial perspective allows you to detect weeds that cannot be seen from ground level.

How aerial drone mapping for weed control works:

Firstly, it is important to choose the season where your target weeds can be seen most clearly amongst their surrounding vegetation in an aerial image. In special mapping software you can plan weed control by measuring areas of weeds and marking infestations with waypoints. When it’s time for weed control these areas and points can be uploaded onto gps to allow direct navigation to the weeds (by foot, vehicle, boat or aerial). Sometime later, another aerial map can be created to check on the control work and see if any weeds have been missed or appeared since the control work.

How Weed Mapping WorksHigh resolution aerial imagery can also help detect the very last weed plant in an eradication programme before it seeds back into your area. The spectral analysis of aerial imagery can help detect these last weeds where the human eye may not see them. A spectral analysis of images measures the amount of reflected light from a surface. Images are taken and numerical values assigned to each pixel, utilizing a range of wavelengths across the visible and infrared spectrum. Through the use of specialized software and statistical analysis, these pixels are characterised to distinguish between plants.

It is well understood how enormous the savings on weed control costs are when a weed can be eradicated. Having comprehensive, high resolution aerial imagery may help achieve this.

5 steps for aerial drone weed control:

  1. Fly over the area of interest and create an orthomosaic image
  2. Detect weeds visually and with spectral analysis
  3. Mark the location of weeds with waypoints
  4. Send out your weed control team to the waypoints to control the weeds.
  5. Repeat steps 1 and 2 to monitor weeds, and then 3 and 4 as necessary!

Call me (Hamish) on 07 394 4394 if you have any questions about this article, or if you’d like to discuss your project requirements.