Kneeland RanchJanuary 29 2015
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I believe my first course of action is to develop a UAV, whether a quad copter, plane or blimp from which I can take photos.
My DIY instinct is to either build The Maker Trainer or Maker Trainer 2 from Make Magazines Maker Hanger Series. With 1300 acres, I would like something that has a long flight time with decent controls, either manual or Autonomous. I am going to have to learn the ins and outs of building the device then controlling it.
I would like to continuously map the 1,300-acre ranch that has been in my girlfriend's family for almost 100 years. The ranch is a habitat for a lot of wildlife, as well as around 20 cows. With California's drought, a closer mapping of the land would help explore in areas that are filled with dense brush, as well as help map the many natural springs and other waterways dotting the property. Keeping an eye on the habitat and providing documentation for future nature conservancy efforts would help keep the land fruitful.
The area is hilly and densely wooded, especially with beautiful California redwoods. I have aspirations of building a drone to survey the ranch. I have done a small hike with my dog using a GoPro to see what I am in for.