Fixed-wing UAV maker partners with Iowa Ag firm

By Emily Aasand | March 12, 2015

Event 38, an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) manufacturer, announced an agreement with Cedar Valley Innovation LLC, an Iowa-based agriculture research organization. Through the agreement CVI will integrate Event 38’s E384 drone and software into its agriculture research programs.

CVI, located in Waterloo, Iowa, has access to a network of experienced professionals who transform agriculture business and technical problems into innovative solutions for its clients, according to CVI.

“The E384 drone gives us an affordable and stable aerial observation and mapping platform to complement our efforts in strip intercropping and high resolution full season crop growth and yield data at the single row and single plant level,” said Robert Recker, CEO of CVI.

The E384 has a two hour lifespan and can carry up to a one kilogram payload. When paired with an E38 custom optical sensor, the E384 can fly 1,000 acres in a single flight and provide orthorectified imagery, elevation models and plant health models at the three centimeter level for agriculture applications, Event 38 said.

“Correlating on-the-ground with in-the-air observations is key to proving meaningful use of drones in agriculture,” said Jeff Taylor, CEO of Event 38. “Our partnership with CVI will provide farmers with access to more up-to-date and accurate information than ever before.”

The ultimate goal, the company said, is to combine drone data and ground measurements into actionable algorithms to prove ROI to end users.

The E384 is a fixed wing UAV with an endurance of 100 minutes or 44 miles. The system uses live data telemetry connected to ground station software loaded on a laptop. The wingspan is just over six feet and the entire unit can map up to 960 geo-referenced acres per flight at 5.0 cm per pixel. The body and wings detach from the main platform body for easy transport.

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