ERI Aerial Filming and Photography – Agricultural Imaging

I’ve been promising to write about a talk I went to at XPONENTIAL 2016 given by Charles Maveaux and a colleague, Jon Rupprecht.


Mr. Malveaux is the Lead Pilot and Owner of ERI Aerial Filming and Photography (E.R.I.) and an Engineer and PhD Candidate at Louisiana State University who specializes in UAV remote sensing. E.R.I. specializes in UAV aerial photography, UAV aerial filming, UAV agricultural crop scouting, UAV based NDVI, aerial data collection, and UAV remote sensing.  E.R.I. has a commercial UAV FAA 333 Exemption that allows it to perform imaging and remote sensing operations for industrial and commercial applications. In addition ERI is the only drone company based in Baton Rouge Louisiana which has FAA 333 authorization for aerial cinematography and movie filming.


E.R.I. provides both manned fixed-wing and unmanned services.  It’s UAS is capable of carrying a modified Trimble GreenSeeker NDVI sensor as well as a modified Canon camera configured to take wide-angle near-infrared photographs. The sensors can remotely analyze the effects of aerial applications of farm chemicals on farm fields over multi-acre plots, as was highlighted in a recent article – Malveaux, Charles. 2014. Investigating the Potential for Drone Use in Agriculture. Louisiana Agriculture, Winter 2014, 8-13 pp.

Drone Photos

NDVI is the acronym for Normalized Difference Vegetative Index. The Trimble GreenSeeker is a sensor that uses a laser scanning system and analyzer to generate NDVI reflectance values for crops passing underneath. NDVI data can also be generated through near-infrared photography, such as that provided by the drone’s modified Canon camera. By using software called Image J, the data generated can be converted into numerical values that can then be plotted as a calculated NDVI value.  Using this technique, ERI’s UAS based agricultural crop inspections using NDVI can help growers understand crop health and manage farm land. Sugar cane, cotton, rice, corn, soybeans, orchard crops, aquaculture, and livestock farming can all benefit from our aerial monitoring, and enhanced NDVI data services. Our NDVI crop inspections, aerial scanning, and aerial livestock monitoring can take agriculture management and to new heights.

This technology brings up tangentially-related issues I’ve been talking about for some time related to cyber technology.  What tools are being used to secure the data from nefarious users and what type of IP protections are being used to protect the raw data coming out of the UAS and the information being processed from the raw data.


Our son in front of the Natchez steamboat. Click the photo to see ERI’s demo reel, including a UAS video of the Natchez!