Angel Eyes UAV Uses Drones to Spot Invisible Maintenance Issues at a Florida Golf Club2017-07-06
Orthomosaic map showing a full swing range and 9-holes, part of two 18-hole courses at a golf club in Florida. Angel Eyes UAV used drone technology to detect turf health problems before they became visible to the naked eye.
Orange areas in the Turf.Solutions map show signs of underlying stress that need to be investigated on the ground level.
Players count on golf course superintendents to keep greens healthy and consistent so that they can enjoy the best green speeds and performance. But keeping greens healthy is no small feat. If maintenance staff can spot damage from an irrigation problem or a fungus with the naked eye, that usually means the problem has already become significant and may take weeks to fully correct. “By the time you see it,” says Stephen, “it’s usually too late.” This leaves members with a less-than-optimal course and can spell trouble for a club’s reputation.
During a recent flight, Angel Eyes UAV used a DJI Matrice 100 and multispectral sensor to collect images of the 500-acre property. Stephen knew that Turf.Solutions was the right choice to quickly and easily analyze the data.
“Most of what we use is near-infrared,” Stephen says. “What I like about Turf.Solutions is the ability to not only get our modified NDVI with the pre-defined algorithm, but also the ability to use the custom ‘slider’ to become more granular and look at specific wavelengths of reflectance. This is the only platform I know of that offers that combination of flexibility.”
In the near-infrared imagery (left) an orange area next to the cart path shows signs of stressed vegetation. Faulty drainage was causing too much water to be diverted to one area of the green.
DroneDeploy and Turf.Solutions Partner for a Complete Golf Course Solution
Turf.Solutions was brought to the DroneDeploy App Market by Dronifi, a UAV software platform developed in California by New Idea Software. The company also partnered with DroneDeploy to bring FarmSolutions to the App Market.
Now that Stephen knows he can access the Turf.Solutions app from within DroneDeploy, he is excited about the possibility of using the two platforms together for an even more comprehensive package. He likes the idea of pairing DroneDeploy’s fast, accurate stitching capabilities with Turf.Solutions analysis. As he watches the commercial drone industry grow, he also sees the inherent potential for partnerships of this kind.
“I like seeing companies team and partner with each other to help out the end user,” says Stephen. “The market is huge and it’s getting bigger. If people try to do it all on their own, they are mistaken and by the time they figure it out, they’ll get leapfrogged by other companies.”