Thursday 18 October 2018
The Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Engineering Service Learning Team was created to support the local farming community by developing powerful yet affordable precision agriculture solutions for small scale farmers. We will be cooperating with the University of California, Merced County Cooperative Extension Office (MCCE) to develop strategies and technologies that will assess the needs of our local small scale growers. The first focus of the project is to detect leaf scorching in grape vines through aerial photography. To achieve this, the team has split into two sub-teams. The imaging sub-team, is in charge of researching and prototyping algorithms with the capability to detect signs of leaf scorching. The imaging sub-team will also be conducting research and live interviews to attain a better understanding of the impact of leaf scorching throughout the community of local farmers. The Platform sub-team is in charge of ordering and assembling a UAV capable of safely and reliably carrying the imaging sensor. The platform team will also be responsible for programming and customizing the UAV’s autonomous flight software. Thus far, the team has purchased an imaging sensor, and has begun programming it to autonomously take photographs during flight. Research concerning leaf scorching will be an ongoing duty throughout the semester, and work on prototyping the image analysis software has begun. Concluding the semester, the UAV team will have completed the initial test runs of the UAV platform and the image analysis software.