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Farmers look to the skies

Project URSULA has announced its first commercial products and services designed to help farmers and has chosen the Cereals 2012 event to preview them. See them on stand D550.

Project Ursula

Using unmanned 'drones' with advanced earth observation cameras to provide 'state of the crop' assessment and insight

Aimed at crop varieties including cereals, peas, sugar beet and potatoes some services can be commissioned immediately. The URSULA team will be on hand to demonstrate how its innovative approach to ‘state of the crop’ intelligence, acquired from small unmanned aircraft, can be used to support intervention. The first farm scale products and services to be announced include:

  • Rapid crop damage assessment
  • Detection of invasive weed species within crops
  • Farm agri-environment analysis
  • Farm aerial photography

Project URSULA is developing agronomy products and services based on data captured from its UAS (Unmanned Aerial System). Working with a number of key growing organisations, including The Green Pea Company, PGRO and Co-operative Farms, 2012 activity builds on 2011 R&D and includes a comprehensive flying program focused on further development. An increasingly extensive range of commercial products and services will be available through 2013 and 2014.

It is anticipated that this will accelerate the adoption of precision farming principles at a critical time for the industry, which is coming under pressure from increased human dependency, land issues and climate change.

The project and capability has resulted from a unique collaboration between two leading SMEs working in complementary areas of technology; Environment Systems, agricultural and environmental experts in earth observation and geographic intelligence and Callen-Lenz Associates Ltd, aviation and remote sensing specialists. Project activities cover air system design and operation, together with bespoke remote sensing system design and data interpretation aimed specifically at agriculture.

For more details about Project URSULA please visit our website:
Unmanned Aircraft System, a term used to describe aircraft without a flight crew on board, sometimes referred to as a Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), Remotely Piloted Vehicle (RPV) or drone. A typical UAS consists of the unmanned aircraft (UA), the control system, the control link, and other related support equipment.
Environment Systems
Environment Systems is an innovative and award winning earth observation and geographic information consultancy.  We use state-of-the-art technology and mapping expertise to help government and businesses to understand and better manage our environment.  We deliver solutions to the environmental, agricultural and land sectors through the establishment of baselines, monitoring, ecosystem models, and the application of the evidence base to current policy. Our work includes consultancy and research services, data capture and analysis, and development of innovative solutions using 3D and remotely sensed data to deliver insight into our environment.
Callen-Lenz provides technical and management consultancy in the aviation domain. Drawing on many years of experience in aircraft test and evaluation, the company undertakes targeted research and development for both internal projects and for customers.
Our operating arm, Gubua Group, provides a broad range of airborne remote sensing solutions supplementing satellite and other forms of data capture. Its highly experienced teams are able to deliver timely, accurate and reliable imagery, using specifically developed platforms and sensor payloads which provide high resolution geo-referenced datasets of target areas. Lightweight, small footprint UAVs – both rotary and fixed wing – deliver flexible and timely data. Avoiding the use of manned aviation reduces the carbon footprint, and provides highly flexible and cost effective solutions. The Callen-Lenz team has considerable experience in remote sensing in land applications, this together with a suite of sensors developed expressly for land applications, provides a new and growing capability for the agricultural industry.

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