CEO Flat Earth Inc.

Doug Roberts's profile picture

Non-contact crop height sensor with XeThru technology

Flat Earth is developing the first non-contact crop height sensor on the market today. This new Flat Earth product uses Novelda's XeThru Technology as its core technology. “ We have found the XeThru Technology to be superior to other technology we tried. Our top of crop sensor is capable of seeing through dense damp crops to the ground with very consistent accuracy.” Doug Roberts, CEO Flat Earth Inc, located in Bozeman, Montana. This crop height sensor can be used on ground based vehicles such as sprayers and harvesters; more importantly, deployed on a drone that can fly over the crop and measure crop height. The UAS (drone) market is projected to be a $49 Bn market within 10 years. Agriculture will be a big part of the drone market. Farmers will use drones to gather information that will allow them to precisely determine the amount of fertilizer, herbicides and pesticides required at a specific location. Agricultural growing costs are reduced because less inputs are required to grow the same amount of food. The environmental benefit is realized through the reduction of chemical run off into the nearby watershed, streams and lakes. Crop height can be an important indicator of crop health and will add value to other data such as IR imagery. Crop height data can be combined with GPS technology to create a crop height map. XeThru technology has advantages over many other similar technologies. Standard automobile radar is not accurate enough to resolve the top of the crop and the ground. Sonar and Ir have difficulties seeing through the crop to the ground. All alternative technologies have difficulty seeing through dirty environments such as dust and debris in the air. This is where XeThru excels with its ability to see through dust, dirt, crops and high levels of humidity.