Within ACBA Federation / Impact Hub Yerevan Scholarship program and with the financial support of ACBA Federation, Aragil (Armenian Agricultural Innovation Laboratories) Startup has received the opportunity to become a member of the Impact Hub unique eco-system, as well as get business consulting from mentors of various fields, including the specialists of ACBA FEDERATION, depending on certain needs during the development of the startup. ACBA FEDERATION has signed a cooperation agreement with Aragil startup and has provided the team with a drone (UAV) for agricultural activities. The federation always supports the experiments of the startup.
On activities of Aragil startup
The use of drones in agricultural industry is becoming more and more actual nowadays. Aerial photography by drones is done in visible and thermal environments. They can broadcast the image in real time which is faster and more effective than controlling the work in the fields on foot and from horizontal position. The drones enable to get up-to-date and effective information whenever it is necessary.
The drones also give the opportunity to draw electronic maps of the fields, as well as 3D models, carry out monitoring of lands, crops, harvest and irrigation systems, calculate the vegetation index, forecast the crop yield, find erosive, dry or wet soils, control the quality of work during harvest gathering. The database of the fields with precise coordinates of all the objects enables to carry out visual analyzes, up to a few sm/pixels.
Before starting cooperation with ACBA FEDERATION Aragil team used DJI Phantom 3 Drone for agricultural land monitoring in Arzakan community, Kotayk region. The works consisted of 2 parts:
- field works
- office works.
In the first stage, aerial photos were taken. The photo session which consisted of 2 stages, was carried out on fields of 3 hectares, divided into three parts. The first field was a fruit garden, the second one was an arable land and the third part was a raspberry field. At first, the drone flew at a height of 50 meters. The maximum coefficient of combination (coverage) of photos was 80%. In the second stage the drone flew at a height of 10 meters. The team aimed at getting photos of higher quality which would enable to obtain the 3D digital model of the raspberry field.
Effective planning and management of the agrarian sector will be impossible without information about harvest and agricultural lands. Effective and reliable information on agricultural lands and sown areas can be obtained through remote sensing. The Aragil team has used photos of the European Sentinel 2A Satellite to get information on agricultural crops.
NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index)
Recently calculation of vegetation index through satellite photos and their use in monitoring of agricultural lands and in crop yield forecast of sown areas has been very popular. One of the most popular among them is NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index). NDVI enables to control the development of the plant biomass throughout the whole vegetation period. The green leaves of the plants absorb electromagnetic waves in the red spectrum and reflect them in the nearby infrared zone. The larger the surface of the green mass of the leaves, the more chlorophyll is contained in the leaves. Therefore, the plants absorb the red light falling on them better and reflect them worse. It is calculated throughout the whole vegetation period and its results differ during the periods of plant growth, flowering and maturation. At the beginning of the vegetation period the index increases, during the flowering stage it stops, and later the index starts declining, depending on the maturity degree of agricultural crops.
The Aragil team has calculated the NDVI vegetation index of the agricultural lands in Arzakan community, Kotayk region, throughout the whole vegetation period. The results of this research were the basis for collaboration with ACBA FEDERATION. This cooperation will provide the startup with more opportunities during experiments and creationn of the finished product. As a result, it will be possible to start an active business and provide agronomists with useful services.