How’s this for an entrepreneurial spirit and a sharp mind? Evan Palmer, a sophomore over at Amherst High School, is currently developing a fixed-wing drone that will be able to survey crops in Amherst when it is completed. This particular drone will be paired to an infrared camera and 3D mapping software so that it makes life easier for farmers to identify crop issues.
This particular project kicked off after Palmer applied for a $1,000 grant from the Nebraska Farm Bureau, which was duly rewarded to him. Apart from that, Palmer also managed to gain the attention of other sponsors who have since done their bit to assist in the construction of the drone via donations. Palmer also gleaned wisdom from online forums to figure out the drone’s building process as well as required parts, and from there, he shared, “I started to get a basic idea of what I needed for the drone. From there, I started building a components list.”
Palmer further explained that he picked the fixed wing because it will be able to cover a larger area in less time, which is always a good thing where efficiency is concerned. A normalized difference vegetation index imaging system was picked to use infrared photos of crops as an indicator of their health status. This allows farmers on the ground to check out crop health from above without having to walk through their plantation all day long, and will also allow them to make decisions on the spot concerning crop health.