Drone capable of different cameras for crop variability

Hello,

I am shopping for a drone to do crop variability work. I would like to start using an RGB camera and do plant health analysis with VARI algorithms, but eventually I would like to be able to switch the camera in this drone for an NIR camera (modified RGB or multispectral).

Are there any commercial off the shelf drone models that can use various cameras? If so what is the price range? Otherwise do I need to invest in a second drone if I want to switch to an NIR camera? Thanks.

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I know there are many solutions to this, so I’m not suggesting this is the best one for your needs, but here is what we have purchased (no need to swap cameras.)

We purchased a phantom 4 pro v2 from a company called Sentera. They make a variety of small cameras that integrate with the dji drone (so you still have the original dji camera on the original gimbal.) The sentera cameras ride along. Here is a picture of our system (we have been flying in the winter time looking for invasive oriental bittersweet vines in forested areas.)

Our particular camera has 5 multispectral bands (R, G, B, RE, NIR) and is configured to support crop health type work. Sentera makes a less expensive 2-band camera that captures near IR and red edge (I believe) and is also good for crop health. They also will do camera integration with the newer Mavic system. We bought our system about 1.5 - 2 years ago now, so I’m sure they have different and better things available now.

There is a sequoia camera that is similar to what we have from sentera. I’m sure several others would make similar things.

What works best for you is something you’ll need to figure out, but I just wanted to post so that you are aware there are additional options beyond swapable camera systems or multiple drones.

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There’s always the Phantom 4 Pro Multispectral. There is also mounting for the Parrot Sequoia and Micasense RedEdge on the Yuneec H520.

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