Flying Microscope - Airborne "in-situ-diagnostics"

Recognition of pests, spores and gases in the agriculture, the demand for fast and detailed assessment of the state of our environment and agricultural land increases with the change of climate and the awareness of a habit worth living in, as well as the healthy and responsible cultivation of food.

Many applications with Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) are already in the test phase. Some have already been developed to product state. A detailed analysis followed by „in-situ“ assessment of the plant condition, microscopic pests or gases appears highly desirable. The term „Flying Microscope“ is representative of the sensory analysis of plant conditions to be examined under the microscope and the analysis of the local, possibly toxic climatic conditions in the cultivation area.


Airborne Recognition of pests, spores and gases just in time, instant messaging. With the help of the drone-based „remote analysis“, harms and dangerous states for humans and animals can rapidly be detected. Formerly this was only possible in the laboratory or in the human-aided greenhouses.
In 2009, ISIS IC GmbH and Innosieve Diagnostics BV (NL) started the development of the so-called „Spore Collector“. This device shortens the previous diagnostics of cell culture development from several days to just a few minutes.
Spectors Objectives
Spectors Methods


Review of the different reasons of energy consumption, duration of investigation, optimizing the time for sniffing air, avoidance of the turbulence during landing, pre-selection of the indications for fungal spores to offer the farmer a decision support system.
An additional value of the Spore Collector with Flying Microscope is saving important time. The saved time can be used to prevent further spread of diseases to save the entire stand. An additional gas analysis sensor allows humans to safely analyse potentially damaging or toxic gases in certain situations along with the ability to counteract in an early stage of disease spread. Thus, frequent observations of different locations are possible and findings can be scaled.

Study Area

In recent years, ISIS IC GmbH has developed the interaction of different sensor technologies with different radio systems and IoT solutions (UAV-IoT synthesis), which can be used optimally in the field thanks to the possibilities of a drone between 10 and 20 kg.
Spectors Study Area
Spectors Actual state

Actual state

Another challenge is the problem between the desired proximity to the object under investigation and the fact, that the immediate region under the drone swirls through its downwash. Here further optimizations regarding the characteristics of the landing gear, the speed of approach and the thrust reversal appear possible.

Future works

With the base technology developed so far, new fields of application are constantly arising. Interactive measurement and further application specific diagnostics (sampling, photo transfer, etc.) make the use of UAV-based measurement systems more and more important. Above all, quick reaction time supports avoidance of health or economic damage. In particular, the expansion of application fields, such as multi-gas-detection encourages further research and development.
Spectors Drohne

Why the Flying Microscope?

Early detection of the weed and abnormal growth patterns autonomously. The system helps in cutting costs and resources spent on analyzing sieves which often have no spore con- centration but filled with dust.

Who will benefit the most from the Flying Microscope?

Farmers with outdoor farms.