UAV Benefits

  • Improve turf and landscaping management practices
  • Detect emerging patterns that might otherwise go unnoticed
  • Improve lawn qualityby targeting site-specific issues
  • Manage sporting fields with reduced economic and environmental costs
  • Evaluate different mowing techniquesfor desired appearance and performance
  • Identify and quantify unwanted plants for removal as an alternative to applying chemicals

UAV Challenges

Timing: Timing flight before or after an event or management practice is critical to the outcome of the data.

  • Tip: Know what information is needed and work with groundskeeping personnel to plan the flight based on mowing and event schedules.

Clouds: Shadows will ruin turf images and maps. A plant health map is a very valuable tool, but images with clouds are not.

  • Tip: Fly when skies are fully overcast or clear for optimal image quality.

Crowds and people: Operating a UAV over a crowd of people without a wavier is a violation of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations. This can be difficult in recreational settings.

  • Tip: Use special caution and be proactive by having a waiver in place if people will be present.

Turf Examples

Picture taken by thermal camera detected a significant temperature differences
Heat stress in home lawn

A thermal camera was used over a residential yard to identify problematic areas due to heat...

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Image of a football field
Football field management

About halfway through the football season, images were taken to identify major wear and tear on...

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Image of a soccer field
Soccer field at Rossville High School

A stitched orthomosaic image (left) and a plant health image (right) show machine- and human-wear...

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Image of a baseball field
Post-season baseball field

This stitched orthomosaic image and plant health image was taken in September after baseball...

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Image of a golf course, lake in the middle
Golf course

Golf courses are among the intensely managed turf systems. Different courses – and even...

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Image of a house with lawn after mowing
Residential yard

This stitched map was taken to observe turf and tree health. It was possible to see turf around...

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