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Aug 2016 | No Comment

Drones to chart a way through Gurgaon’s land record maze

At the Gurgaon Secretariat, in Haryana, India, one often sees ageing village patwaris sitting along with young computer operators trying to reproduce maps, often in tattered shape, on computer screens.

These are no ordinary maps. Many of them are drawn on a piece of cloth, with notations in Urdu. Some of these maps have been passed through generations after Raja Todar Mal, finance minister in the Cabinet of Mughal emperor Akbar who first invented a land revenue system and started creating maps of North India somewhere in the 16th century. In India, land records were last compiled in 1957 and have not been updated since then the Gurgaon administration is trying to solve this discrepancy by using a modern solution: drones. In a first, Gurgaon will deploy drones to take high-resolution imagery of one of the largest tech hubs in the country to carry out land-record regularisation after similar proof of concepts have been carried out in satellite towns of Sohna and Manesar. The images taken by drones are then tallied by the maps which have been digitised from the 1957 physical records to arrive at a final and a foolproof version.

Drones are already being used in Gurgaon for mapping a 16 sq km area for the power smart grid project in Gurgaon. Under the project Udaan, the authorities are using two drones. A similar project is underway in Manesar, another satellite town of Gurgaon and also an auto industry hub.

Drones could be the answer to early disease detection in banana crops

A researcher is looking into the possibility of using remote sensing to detect diseases in banana crops. University of New England PhD candidate Aaron Aeberli said different sensor systems could be attached to satellites or drones.

Mr Aeberli said the technology was already being used in other crops such as sugar cane, wheat, cotton and peanuts.

Diseases could be detected early through the application of thermal imaging.

“There is potential to notice changes in the leaf temperature if the plant is no longer able to function normally. Some of the bigger crops like wheat, they use it a fair amount and it does save them time. It can help with production and management systems.”

Mr Aeberli is hoping to develop the technology further for the banana industry.

He is collaborating with the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and Horticulture Innovation Australia on upcoming trials in far north Queensland.

“We’re looking to take some satellite imagery and we’ll go into the field and try and evaluate this satellite imagery, so that the field conditions refl ect what we’ve been taking from the satellites,” he said. “We’re also looking at the use of UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) for a similar system.”

There could be potential for banana growers to one day monitor the health of their own crops by drones. “I wouldn’t necessarily go out and tell everyone to buy a drone at this point in time, but once a valid system that works has been set up, there’s potential for that.”

Delivery that comes to you with one click

Delivering packages wherever you want it, through the air, via drone in just 30 minutes – that’s Amazon’s vision. On the heels of getting FAA permission for experimental test fl ights in the United States in March, the U.S. Patent and Trademark office has published Amazon’s patent application for its drone delivery system.

Amazon is thinking beyond home delivery. They’re thinking delivery to wherever you are at the moment. The patent application describes a customer option called “Bring It To Me.” With this option, using GPS data from the consumer’s mobile device, the drone locates and delivers the item to that location. Once the customer places the order he or she does not have to remain in one place.

Drones will monitor crop and soil health in India soon

The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) through the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) under a collaborative research project is developing indigenous prototype for drone based crop and soil health monitoring system using Hyperspectral Remote Sensing (HRS) sensors. This technology could also be integrated with satellite-based technologies for large scale applications.

Advance Queensland funding to advance RPAS tech in Queensland

One hundred new aerospace industry jobs will be created in Queensland, Australia as a result of the Palaszczuk Government’s $1m investment in drone technology. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced the State Government was providing $1 million in Advance Queensland funding in a first-of-its kind partnership with global aerospace giant The Boeing Company, in conjunction with Boeing subsidiary Insitu Pacific, Shell’s QGC project, Telstra and locally based small to medium-sized enterprises providing industry and technical expertise. The funding will develop and test cutting-edge Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) technologies for adoption by critical industries including LNG, agriculture, mining, energy, telecommunications, search and rescue and environmental management.

The $10 million Advance Queensland Platform Technology Program is part of the Queensland Government’s $405 million Advance Queensland initiative, which aims to transform Queensland into a knowledge-based economy and help create the jobs of the future.

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