One of the professional UAVs uses with greatest projection in civil sector, apart from safety and surveillance, is precision agriculture. The importance of resource optimization in agriculture is in constantly growth. Therefore, agricultural recognition through professional UAVs, provide detailed land analysis in real time. Furthermore, treatments are highly localized, improving its efficiency.
More than a future, professional UAVs for precision agriculture, is present in several countries. Although, nowadays, there is being a large expansion worldwide due to the easy access to new technologies. In Brazil this technology is currently being used in soybean fields and in Japan it is used for spraying herbicides and fertilizers.
Precision agriculture UAVs increase productivity to those who use them to take care for their crops. When flying over lands they quickly capture statistical data through onboard sensors. With this data, specific maps are produced, providing important information crop management.
Specific applications of UAVs in precision agriculture
- Early detection of plagues and diseases
The detection of fungus or weeds on crops is possible by obtaining multispectral images using UAV systems. With the information obtained methods for solving the problem can be quickly applied, the effectiveness of the methods used can be studied and the progress of applied techniques can be examined. It helps to prevent that plagues or diseases affects the whole parcel.
- Improve irrigation efficiency
The location of areas that need more or less irrigation is vital. The detection of water stress by using multispectral photographs and thermal sensors facilitates to evaluate and optimize the efficiency of irrigation in crops.
- Control of sprayed areas
Considering the concentration and disposition of weeds, healthy areas will be excluded of fumigation. Saving resources and getting more naturally grown crops, all from the bird’s eye view that the UAV provide us in precision agriculture.
- Optimization of fertilizers
The detection of nutritional stress is feasible thanks to the catchment of multispectral images that assess the growth of vegetation. Obtaining the necessary information to administer the exact dosage of fertilizers in examined areas.
- Quality control and crop status
It is possible to get indicators of quality and yield in plantations with the combination of multispectral photographs and the data obtained during crop inspection.
- Creation of inventories and inspection of agricultural areas
With precision agriculture it is possible to perform the aerial identification of the amount and species of trees, which is always extremely helpful. Especially in difficult access areas.
- Fumigation and fertilization
By installing precision spray devices, dispensing of fumigant and fertilizer agents becomes possible, applying the product directly and precisely into treatment area.
- Plague control with biological resources
Thanks to the versatility of the drones it is possible the application of biological techniques for plague control. Such as SIT techniques or the controlled introduction of plague natural enemies.
All these advantages of precision farming are possible with Veronte Autopilot system installed in an UAV platform. An optimized system for professional applications that includes advanced functionalities for the application of precision agriculture technology with UAVs, such as: picture taking with a fixed interval or overlap, automatic activation of video cameras, controlled payloads release, spray systems control, low altitude flying with precision altimeters, autonomous obstacle avoidance,…