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Webinar | Affordable high-end multispectral solution for agriculture: Agrowing and UgCS Mapper

UgCS: Flight Planning & Control
May 25, 2021

Qualitative multispectral imagery enables precise early detection and AI-powered identification of pests, diseases, and vegetation irregularities.

SPH Engineering collaborates with Agrowing Ltd. to make high-end multispectral solutions affordable to a larger number of farmers, agronomists, and researchers around the globe. We believe that equipping more growers with in-the-field actionable data contributes to a sustainable future.

Agrowing Ltd. has an established track record when it comes to enabling powerful tools for farmers and growers. The provider of AI-enabling multispectral sensors consistently creates products that set it apart from the competition to enable real opportunities for users.

UgCS Mapper by SPH Engineering is an affordable, lightweight 2D map stitching software, capable of stitching high-resolution multi-band multispectral imagery purely offline in the field.

On May 20th, we explored an entire workflow of multispectral imagery processing, from data acquisition and map stitching to NDVI calculation.


  1. Key benefits of multispectral photography for an agronomist
  2. An overview of Agrowing cameras
  3. Multispectral imagery processing workflow explained
  • Flight planning in UgCS
  • Keynotes on data acquisition with Agrowing camera
  • Image preprocessing with Agrowing software
  • Orthomosaics stitching with UgCS Mapper
  • Vegetation index calculation in QGIS


Alexei Yankelevich
Head of Software Development @SPH Engineering

Alexei YANKELEVICH is the Co-Founder and Head of Software Development at SPH Engineering, a multiproduct drone software company, and UAV integration services provider. He was the key developer behind the flagship UgCS drone mission planner back in 2013. Since then, he has been responsible for R&D projects, including the introduction of ATLAS, an AI-powered platform to process data gathered with a UAV. Today, Alexei leads product development and liaises with main UgCS and ATLAS customers.

Contact Alexei on LinkedIn

Ira Dvir
CEO @Agrowing Ltd.

Ira Dvir is the Co-Founder and CEO at Agrowing, a leading AI-Enabling multispectral sensor and software vendor. He is the co-inventor of Agrowing’s award-winning patented sensor design and imagery acquisition method. Ira Dvir established his being a world expert and pioneer in the field of video compression and imaging technologies. Mr. Dvir received his MA Cum Laude from Tel Aviv University.

Contact Ira on LinkedIn

Ilia Bakharov
Software R&D Group Manager @Agrowing Ltd.

Ilia Bakharov is a software specialist for various operating systems and DSP platforms for about 20 years. He is a specialist in implementing and accelerating imaging and video algorithms. Ilia led software development teams at Radcom and Human Monitoring. He has deep knowledge and experience implementing video and imaging processing algorithms on various processing platforms. Mr. Bakharov is a computer science and mathematics graduate of Bar Ilan University, Israel.

Contact Ilia on LinkedIn


What are the challenges with UgCS Mapper stitching orthomosaic images at 5 m altitudes?

There are no challenges with software: UgCS Mapper can stitch any resolution. The biggest challenge is for the pilot to make a safe low-altitude flight. We recommend making the first flight at 50-100m altitude to obtain aerial photography for the area, and stitch both orthomosaic with preliminary multispectral indexes and elevation (UgCS Mapper stitches elevation automatically). Then, you can upload this elevation back to UgCS flight planner and use it to plan the next flight at a very low altitude. Also, a good idea is to use a drone with RTK for low-altitude flight, because RTK significantly improves the vertical accuracy of the drone.

Is DJI Matrice 210 RTK Zenmuse X7 supported by UgCS?

Yes, we support this combination of hardware. You may find the full list of drones and autopilots supported by UgCS on the website.

Regarding QGIS: do the imported orthophotos need to be reprojected?

UgCS Mapper generates orthomosaic in WGS84, which does not need to be reprojected if you survey for agricultural purposes. If you have any specific cases, please reach out to our Support Team for further clarifications.

Can I include ground control points inside UgCS Mapper to correct photos?

UgCS Mapper is a simplified photogrammetry processor, which does not support ground control points at the moment. Please note that ground control points are not required for multispectral imaging and most agricultural applications.

Do you have any opinion or experience with CWSI (Crop Water Stress Index)?

We don’t have direct experience with CWSI, however, we can connect you to organizations that work with this index, as it requires Infrared Thermometry. We support indexes like MCARI and TCARI, SAVI, OSAVI, etc. If you have any questions related to soil quality staff, please reach out to Agrowing.

Please clarify, can your lens be added to my existing a7 or a6xxxx series, or do I have to buy a special version with the lens?

The camera can be modified by a Sony lab. Usually, we prefer to supply the full kit after verifying the quality. The A6xxx does not justify the risk, as for the A7Rxx it may be worth it. We supply with the kit a clip IR-Cut filter to enable dual-purpose use.

Does UgCS mapper support thermal imagery?

Yes, it does, in JPEG files

Please let us know the weight of the camera Sony Alpha.

For The A7Rxx it varies a bit between A7R II, A7R III, and A7R IV, but they are about 780 grams each. The RePacked ones which we do with ADTi are about 420 to 425 grams including the lens. But they are more expensive in the sense that repacking costs about 2000 dollars more than the off-the-shelf Sony A7Rxx. The 10 Bends solution with ADTi is going to be included with Yuneec’s H520e, which will be released to the market in about 6-8 weeks from now.

You can find more technical details and specifications for the sensors at Agrowing.

Do you have sample images to share to compare/contrast the A6x00 vs A7Rxx?

The main difference between them is that the lenses of A7Rxx are narrower: in A6x00 they are about
40nm wide, whereas with A7Rxx they are about 15-30nm wide. To request the data sets of various bands (10 bands, 14 bands, or 4 bands), please contact Agrowing.

Is there any way to automate the image analysis to process the health status of the field (including pest, diseases...)?

We are working together with colleagues from Agrowing on the better automation of the image analysis process. If you have any questions regarding the presented workflow, please post us a message at support@ugcs.com. In one of our next webinars with Agrowing we will demonstrate how to ATLAS platform by SPH Engineering to leverage AI and detect specific visual signatures and footprints of diseases and pests in the field. Stay tuned!

Do you believe high precision GPS like RTK is necessary for these types of applications?

[Alexey Yankelevich] I think RTK now becomes a kind of an industry standard because it significantly simplifies data acquisition with high accuracy. For high-altitude surveys, you can use just a normal GPS, which can give you a good overview of the status of your field.

Does UgCS software accept DJI AGRAS MG-1P already?

UgCS does not support DJI AGRAS MG-1P, because we work with DJI drones through an official DJI Mobile SDK, which does not expose support for DJI AGRAS at the moment.

Can we test Agrowing software with MicaSense RedEdge-MX ?

No. :-)

Integration of Agrowing sensors with drones.

If you have a drone, which is already carrying some Sony Alpha cameras, it means that they are integrated, and you only might need to change some parameters regarding the field of view. The solution is camera-agnostic: the triggering operates the same way as the camera does (it is just the same frame divided into different areas, but the rest of the operation of the camera is unchanged).