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Why are Agriculture Enterprises Embracing UAVs For Better Farming?

By Enterprise Technology Review | Friday, October 18, 2019

Implementing agricultural drone technology, farmers get a better yield from their crops.

FREMONT, CA: Many enterprises leverage drones for aerial surveillance or just for entertainment use, while the agricultural platform is gradually recognizing the monumental impact that unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) could have on land management. Drones are becoming one of the next-gen farming tools, a drift which is also known as smart farming, a holistic, software-centric move towards a growing tradition. As the population continues to grow day by day, food production must also increase by 70 percent to properly supply to everyone. This is where the drone comes into the picture. Drones open the door to manage crops and help farmers expand production without affecting the quality of the product.

Planting

The current implementation in UAV technology has minimized the seeding costs greatly. With the help of 3D mapping technology, drones improve field arrangement and create seed planting patterns. They not only help in planting seeds but also help to place the seed down in the ground at the right depth for the right growth. After the planting is done, the drone-driven soil examination offers the data for irrigation and also the nitrogen-level supervision.

Pollination

The invent of autonomous pollination, and imaging system (APIS) is made to help the self-pollinating crops. The drones help locate the flowers by using a camera and discharges a push of air, which makes the branch of flowers vibrate. It takes a picture of the flowers to view the pollination. The main agenda of these APIS is not to replace the pollinators but to innovate a technology that would help them if needed.

AI

Looking ahead, controlled drones of today will soon be replaced with fully autonomous drones that can complete agricultural monitoring tasks mutually as well as collect data on their own. One of the emerging technologies in the field of the agricultural industry is predictive analysis. By implementing drones, change to track and predict multiple environmental impacts on the crop yields like the weather changes. Drone technology continuously improves and transforms the way farmers plan for future production, and pinpointing the best areas to plant the next set of seeds. AI is the automation component of drones. It helps with programming a set of parameters for the drones, and supervise it when it carries out those parameters.

Thermal Cameras

A thermal imaging camera on a drone can be used as a powerful tool.  These help to detect heat emerging from almost all the objects or materials and transforms them into visual images or videos. The camera can adjust to identify the difference between hot or cold ground and have the ability to reach wide extended areas that are hard to get to or see with a naked eye. A thermal measurement can swiftly show where locations within a field are under or even over-irrigated. While the traditional way of determining drainage was to probe and dig, which was time-consuming. Now, the farmers have the capability to detect these remote homes utilizing drone technology.

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NIR Sensors

Near-Infrared (NIR) sensors measure the key elements in the manufacturing process.  There is an optical mechanism that is used to generate accurate and vigorous measurements. The geometric techniques are used to know the area of concern which needs a given measurement. These include ambient lighting, relative humidity, product height fluctuations, seasonal differences, and color variations. NIR sensors enhance the quality assurance too. Within agriculture, NIR sensors are centered on the contact of electromagnetic radiation with soil or plant material. The imaging camera sensors on agricultural drones enable them to manage crops, soil, fertilizing, and irrigation more accurately. The remote sensing involves taking the measurement of radiation that is reflected from agricultural fields rather than being absorbed. Plant reflectance is greater in the NIR section, as a result of leaf density and canopy structure effects.

Fighting the crop Diseases

Farmers use the drone to measure their agriculture by leveraging the data for the mapping and spraying their crops to get the correct profit. It is estimated that nearly 30-40 percent of the produce from the cultivated plants die due to several harmful pests and diseases. In order to minimize this, the farmers started using drones for their work. Farmers can compare the data from the UAV pictures and their ground monitoring to know the performance of the drones as well as the crops.

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