What are the uses of agricultural drones? Unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs as they are commonly known, have been used commercially since the 1980s. According to statistics, the world's population will soar to 9 billion by 2050, and the demand for agricultural products will also increase by 70 percent. With the increasing environmental problems, agricultural production is facing more and more challenges. The powerful data acquisition and analysis function of agricultural UAV provides a strong technical guarantee for more scientific crop planting and protection work. At present, the application of UAVs in agricultural production has achieved initial results, which are mainly reflected in the following six aspects.
I. Plot and soil analysis
Agricultural UAVs equipped with high-definition cameras and advanced sensors play a crucial role in the initial stage of agricultural production by producing accurate three-dimensional maps of plots and soil analysis and detailed planning for sowing. At the same time, agricultural UAVs of this type can closely monitor plot conditions and provide strong data support for later irrigation and soil nitrogen content management.
2. Aerial seeding
Scientists have racked their brains and developed a perfect drone seeding system. The system infuses the soil simultaneously with the seeds and all the nutrients they need to grow. This technology increases the nutrient uptake rate of the seeds by 75 percent, while reducing the cost of sowing by 85 percent. Not only does it ensure seed survival, but it also reduces the consumption of other resources, killing two birds with one stone.
3, spraying operations
Agricultural unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) loaded with ultrasound, radar and advanced spraying systems are widely used in plant protection operations, also known as plant protection UAVs. This type of UAV can continuously adjust the flight altitude according to the geographical terrain and autonomously identify and avoid obstacles. It can implement accurate and uniform spraying operations on crops based on the advanced spraying system. This technology greatly reduces the amount of pesticide, and reduces the pollution of water and environment caused by plant protection operations. According to the estimate of experts, compared with traditional machinery, the operation efficiency of plant protection UAV is up to 5 times, which will greatly reduce the consumption of manpower and material resources.
4, crop monitoring
Large plots and low efficiency of crop monitoring are another big pain point in agricultural production. As global temperatures rise and climate change becomes more volatile, managing and maintaining the condition of land plots becomes more difficult. In the past, farmers mainly relied on satellite images to help them monitor crops, but the cost was too high and they needed to be purchased in advance. Moreover, the service efficiency of an average day was also difficult to provide real-time and accurate crop monitoring information. Agricultural drones equipped with real-time imaging system came into being, which provided reliable and effective guarantee for farmers to monitor crop growth more accurately and take timely and effective prevention and control measures.
5. Agricultural irrigation
Agricultural UAVs equipped with hyperspectral, multispectral and thermal sensors can accurately analyze and identify the dry areas of plots, providing strong data support for precision irrigation operations. In addition, in the process of crop growth, the UAV can also calculate vegetation index, and analyze the density and health status of crops by the heat emitted by the crops themselves.
6. Crop health assessment
Crop health assessment and timely detection of pests and diseases is one of the necessary guarantees for quality agricultural production. Equipped with visible infrared and near-infrared emission equipment, agricultural UAVs can accurately analyze the amount of green and near-infrared light reflected by crops and draw multispectral images to track the changes and health status of crops. According to the corresponding data, farmers can make rapid and effective control measures to protect crops from pests and diseases, so as to significantly improve the efficiency of agricultural production.