UAV photos + specifications!

Here are some photos of my most recent project, a crop-surveying UAV. It will have a small camera on the bottom to measure reflected infrared light from plants, which I’ll be using to create NDVI images. This will allow farmers to see which areas of their fields are photosynthesizing the most.

Front of aircraft fuselage

Front of aircraft fuselage


Top of aircraft fuselage

Autopilot board

The bottom right photo is the autopilot board I’ll be using, a PXFmini. I chose it because of its small size, and integration with the Raspberry Pi I’ll be using to take photos. I’ll also be connecting a GPS and compass module to the PXFmini, as well as a telemetry radio for remote monitoring.

Also, courtesy of seven on #xkcd, I have a name for the UAV: Cropter. I’m considering getting some stickers made to show this name on the wings or tail.


Hobbyking Trainstar airframe

2.2Ah 3S Lithium Polymer battery

PXFmini autopilot with GPS and telemetry radio

Raspberry Pi Zero with NoIR Camera

Hobbyking T6A 2.4Ghz transmitter

I chose the hardware to be as minimal as possible while also remaining light to increase flight time.

Side Note: If any of you have recommendations for stitching a series of still images into a very large photo, please recommend them in the comments. Thanks!






Welcome to my blog


This is the blog of jamesl. Occasionally I post here about personal projects and things I’m doing.

What I’m currently working on

  • A UAV to monitor plant photosynthesis with an infrared camera.
  • A camera to livestream the movements of hedgehogs at night.

Stuff I’ve done

  • Made a LEGO RC car with first-person view.
  • Various things with a Raspberry Pi

Contact me

  • Email me,
  • Message me (jamesl) on Foonetic IRC