12 November 2017 greal

Sandro Russello, head of FlyToDiscover, took the FTD Spark NIR “testbed” drone into the air today. This is the first series of experimental flights for this 340 g quadcopter, fitted with an additional near-infrared (NIR) camera.

The prototype will undergo a series of validation tests for survey purposes and will serve as a testbed towards the development of a lightweight, low cost commercial survey RPAS. The FTD Spark NIR is the outcome of a close partnership and collaboration between FTD and GREAL towards the development of an accessible survey tool for scientific and professional applications. Such kind of cooperation between the two partners is not new, as it led in the past to the implementation of other prototypes, most notably the FTD 160X4 .

From the standpoint of geographic research, the implementation of Spark NIR is in line with the traditional GREAL’s approach to develop high-accessibility tools for practical applications. In particular, this project aims to take advantage of the regulatory and practical opportunities provided by minimal-sized drones for studies on vegetation, especially in urban and densely populated contexts.