Date of this Version
Patent No.: US 9,969,492 B2
An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) can be configured for crop height estimation. In some examples, the UAV includes an aerial propulsion system, a laser scanner configured to face downwards while the UAV is in flight, and a control system. The laser scanner is configured to scan through a two - dimensional scan angle and is characterized by a maxi mum range. The control system causes the UAV to fly over an agricultural field and maintain, using the aerial propulsion system and the laser scanner, a distance between the UAV and a top of crops in the agricultural field to within a programmed range of distances based on the maximum range of the laser scanner. The control system determines, using range data from the laser scanner, a crop height from the top of the crops to the ground.