Rocketfarm drone surveys solar farm

Many farmers – and anybody familiar with the name would – remember Delta Drone International’s Rocketfarm as a precision agriculture solutions company whose speciality is offering drone-based data to agriculture professionals in the past seven years.

So; this business of Rocketform as the go-to company for solar farm monitoring is something new.

Maybe the company decided to monitor the health of solar panels at solar farms because solar farms are just farms by any other name – only that they produce energy where all other farms produce normal farm yields like crops and meat and related produce.

According to a statement released by Delta Drone International, Rocketfarm recently flew its specially designed drone over a concentrated solar power plant on an aerial survey mission that was successful in demonstrating the company’s expertise in tailored done solutions for almost any task.

Sadly, the company did not reveal where in Africa this survey was conducted, but it claimed this was a first, at least on the continent and possibly the world.

And the Sensefly looked like it did have a fun day in the sun above the solar panels.

“By creating a 100 per cent custom solution that included a deep dive into code and re-training the thermal AI detection formula, RocketFarm was able to fly at the height and angles and take the images required to detect broken mirrors, defective heat elements and provide the customer an analysis on future performance and optimisation,” the statement said.

It added that the operators had to rewrite some lines of code for this task, which was made extremely complex due to the constant movement of solar panels, that were designed to change positions as the sun moved across the sky, and also for the reflective nature of the plant’s mirrors that would produce a false reading if they were to reflect the sky or the ground onto the drone’s cameras.

“With no existing guide, RocketFarm’s survey and data acquisition involved our crew flying a sample of the site at different angles, heights and speeds to conduct the survey and collect the data,” said RocketFarm Project Lead, Zander Van Pletzen. “Equipped with a multi-spectrum sensor (RGB and thermal) provided the team with multiple points of data to analyse. While flying is the simplest aspect of the mission, the interpretation of the data and analysis for the CSP plants owners and stakeholders has been a complex and insightful undertaking that will provide long standing benefits in maintenance, profitability and possibly greater uptake of CSP plants.”

Delta Drone International CEO, Christopher Clark added; “These concentrated solar power plants cost billions to build and only the most experienced pilots with specialist expertise in agriculture, could code the complex algorithms required for this project.

“This ground-breaking survey is no doubt set to transform the global energy sector for years to come.”


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