Agriculture Drone/UAV Application

AERDRON is working on developing hardware/software solutions in an important new emerging technology sector in agriculture that is being referred to as “Precision Agriculture/Farming”. This technology focuses on the monitoring of plant health, and optimizing farm land.

AERDRON was awarded seed funding in 2015 by the Spanish Government in Extremadura to develop the next generation of intelligent drone aerial platforms. Our ED1 EXTREMdron platform will be equipped with an array of selectable imaging sensors, and payloads.

PEST CONTROL & CROP PROTECTION

It is estimated that 1/3 third of the annual harvest worldwide is lost due to pest and fungal infestation. A farmer utilizing UAVs/drones can take early actions, and countermeasures to protect the threat of crop loss. UAVs equipped with multispectral cameras determine areas of pest infestation before irreversible damage of plants occur. The information provided by the UAVs will determine which areas need to be sprayed, thus reducing the volume of pesticides used. Applying these technologies will improve the quality of foods, and reduce the overall pesticide costs to the farmer.

FARMING & AGRICULTURAL EFFICIENCY

The use of UAV/drones in agriculture will have a huge & positive impact and a wide field of applications within the agricultural sector. The need for  sustainable and efficient means of farming is becoming more necessary each year with the reduction in farm land and increases in populations. The use of UAV/drones will optimize the agricultural output and conserve resources such as water, going forward into the future.

PESTICIDE SPRAYING

In Japan, UAV helicopters have been used for 20 years, successfully spraying rice fields. Although the fields are smaller in comparison to larger commercial farms around the world, the UAV platforms can be scaled up in the future.

AERDRON is also in talks with vineyards in Spain which struggle with the fungal infestation of the vines. These vines are grown on steep slopes and are not easily accessible by trucks, or airplanes. Hand sprayers are sometimes used, but they are cumbersome and not efficient.

The grower will have the information to determine the areas where to apply pesticides, or where more irrigation of water is needed. The wine-grower can act purposefully and early without losing harvest or the necessity of spraying the entire vineyard.

REDUCED ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT

Studies have shown the obvious devastating consequences of the massive use of pesticides and fertilizers.

Multispectral images provide the health/density of plants. Capturing aerial images of the farms give important information of the condition of the plants based on the absorbed color saturation.

In the non-visible range, NIR cameras supply information about the plant structure, or the water content of the plants.