Agricultural UAV Drone Q&A

- May 08, 2017-

1.How high can an agricultural drone fly? 

With intelligent flight control,drones fly around 50 - 100m high. 

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2.Is any special license required to fly agricultural drones

Currently, flying agricultural drones depends on national laws. But pesticide spraying is worked basing on actual agricultural laws. 

3.What are the best weather conditions to fly a drone over a field?

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A drone can fly under any weather condition. Drones are water resistant, but image quality can be damaged if pictures are taken during rainy weather. 

4.What distances can agricultural drones fly? 

It depends on the drone capability and size. Fixed wings drones have longer flight time and can cover more fields in one flight. For instance, 50 min flight time will cover up to 12km2 . 

5.What makes the difference between images taken by a drone and satellite images? 

Drones can take pictures with a resolution down to a few cm per pixel. A drone can get higher quality and higher precision of images in real time as they can fly below the clouds. Besides, a satellite only takes pictures once a week or once a month. 

6.What kind of information can farmers get from the images? 

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Raw data collected by drones gets translated into useful and comprehensible information for farmers thanks to specific algorithms. Some of the information these images provide is:  Plant counting: plant size, plot statistics, stand number, compromised plots, planter skips),  Plant height: crop height and density  Vegetation indices: leaf area, anomaly detection, treatment efficacy, infestations, phenology  Water needs: damage/drown out Drones ensure a permanent monitoring of the crop in the field from planting to harvest. 

7.What are the main benefits farmers can get from the use of ag drones? Drones can help farmers to optimize the use of inputs (seed, fertilizers, water), to react more quickly to threats (weeds, pests, fungi), to save time crop scouting (validate treatment/actions taken), to improve variable-rate prescriptions in real time and estimate yield from a field. 

8.What are the advantages of combining smart agricultural machinery and agricultural drones? As of today, drones cannot communicate directly with agricultural equipment. Drones fly over the field and take high resolution pictures. The data gathered is directly sent to the cloud/software and made available to the customer. Thanks to this data, the user can select the information wanted from the images and make different prescription maps depending on the operation the farmer wants to perform on the field. The maps can then be uploaded on the farm equipment which will adjust the amount of inputs (seeds, fertilizers, pesticides) that would need to be applied in the field accordingly. 

9.What are the expectations for this market to grow in the coming years? 

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It is expected that the use of drones will grow significantly in farming as they offer a wide range of applications to improve precision agriculture. 

But advanced pesticide spraying system and big data can be helpful for application of agricultural drones.

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Some information come from CEMA website.

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