MicaSense, a specialist in multispectral drone sensors, has released a new product to deliver highly accurate results at leaf-level resolution. The MicaSense Altum-PT three-in-one drone camera can capture synchronized multispectral, thermal, and panchromatic data for advanced remote sensing and agricultural research.
MicaSense, which was sold by European drone group Parrot to AgEagle Aerial Systems earlier this year, is a known name in agriculture, plant research, land management, and forestry industries. The company’s top-of-the-line Altum has been one of the best-selling sensors for professional-grade agriculture drone mapping since it was first introduced in 2018.
The new MicaSense Altum-PT takes the legacy forward by integrating an ultra-high-resolution panchromatic imager, a 320×256 radiometric thermal imager, and five discrete spectral bands to produce synchronized outputs such as RGB color, crop vigor, heat maps, and high-resolution panchromatic in just one flight.
Offering twice the spatial resolution of its predecessor, Altum-PT has been introduced to empower users with deeper analytical capabilities and more diverse applications; enable them to discern issues at the plant level, even in the early growth stages; and conduct early-stage stand counting, as well as season-long soil monitoring, among other critical uses.
Andries Potgieter, an associate professor focusing on agriculture and food innovation at the University of Queensland in Australia, is excited about the new possibilities Altum-PT will bring to agronomic research where high spatial resolution of multispectral data is critical. Explains Potgieter:
In the past, we’ve flown at very low altitudes to achieve the needed ground sample distance or GSD. With the GSD capabilities through the pan-sharpening of the Altum-PT, our data collection efforts will be significantly streamlined. Having higher resolution thermal data from the Altum-PT will also be relevant to enhanced accuracy when determining the impact of abiotic and biotic stresses on crop performance at plant, canopy and field levels across different environments.
MicaSense’s VP of research and development, Justin McAllister, highlights that Altum-PT’s engineering innovations are a result of customer feedback and evolving industry needs. McAllister says:
Its enhanced, patented thermal calibration technologies guarantee the most accurate thermal maps available – over two times better than Altum, opening the door to highly advanced research applications and even more pronounced user benefits.
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