USDA funds Bodkin Design to develop innovative UAV sensor for precision agriculture

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In Massachusetts, a $100,000 contract from the U.S. Department of Agriculture was awarded to Bodkin Design & Engineering to develop a compact hyperspectral imager for UAV platforms. The USDA is interested in hyperspectral imaging because this technique combines a spatial image with spectral analysis to build up a three-dimensional data cube containing information that cannot be seen by the human eye. The vast amount of information contained in these images allows for more accurate identification of materials.

“A prototype hyperspectral imager has been demonstrated in the lab and under this program we will demonstrate its efficacy in the field.” said Andrew Bodkin, owner and founder of Bodkin Design & Engineering.

Intended to be mounted on drones, the device has no moving parts and will capture spectral and spatial information in one instantaneous video frame. The sensor will monitor water stress in plants and measure fertilizer and chemical distribution in farm fields.