Sentera announced the launch of a miniature high-speed brushless gimbal customized for Sentera Single sensors mounted on DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 equipment. The gimbal boosts acres-per-hour coverage by 40 percent, wirelessly configures the sensor and improves data quality.
“We are committed to constantly improving user productivity and data quality,” said Ryan Nelson, chief mechanical engineer at Sentera. “Maintaining the sensor in a straight-down position, no matter how the drone is oriented lets users fly wider tracks across the field, covering more acres in less time. And Bluetooth connectivity means wireless sensor configuration automatically from the FieldAgent iOS app. No more changing configuration files on SD Cards!”
The gimbal’s integrated Bluetooth bridge to the sensor allows users to change or verify overlap settings, and check SD card free capacity. Configuration is faster and less error-prone. “The gimbal feature set was developed based on user feedback,” said Greg Thompson, director of sales for Sentera. “Our users are our literal experts in the field, incredibly valuable partners to evolve and improve our products.”
More Comprehensive Data
In addition to increased acres-per-hour productivity, the gimbal also improves data quality. When the sensor is mounted directly to the drone, the drone’s pitch and roll change the angle at which a photo is taken relative to the ground. These variations from “straight-down,” or nadir, can alter the calculated NDVI, Red Edge or other vegetative index measurement derived from that photo. This phenomenon is called the bidirectional reflectance distribution function, or BRDF.
BRDF is complex and impacted by multiple factors, but camera angle relative to the ground is one of the most important and the most difficult to correct in post-flight processing. With the new gimbal, a Single Sensor on a Phantom stabilizes camera angle relative to the ground, just like Sentera’s science-grade equipment, and this component of BRDF is essentially eliminated.
Every Sentera Sensor includes a 12-month subscription to Sentera FieldAgent™, allowing users to autonomously fly, make in-field assessments, perform analytics and integrate data products with the digital platform of their choice.
Current owners of a Phantom 4 drone with either a Single Sensor or a Micro Gimbal can upgrade to the new gimbal product through an authorized Sentera dealer.