Due to the robust investments in drone technology innovation, drones are now making a difference in all industrial sectors. Today, drone-powered solutions are worth more than $127 billion. Imagine that huge breakthrough where drones are transforming into an emerging modern workforce.
Drones are now rapidly responding to the challenges in today’s industries. In the near future, many companies will benefit from operating UAVs. Integrating this technology into their businesses will cut expenses, will provide better management of the company’s resources and efficient delivery of services.
The drone’s use in agriculture
Farmers are now embracing drone solutions that will revolutionize their productivity, food production and sustainability. The big agriculture make-over expects a $32.4 billion worth of drone-powered solutions. These are the role of the drones in farming:
The planting drones will shoot pods containing seeds of plants and it will also nourish the plants, by cultivating the soil with the nutrients that the plants need for a rapid growth. The drone planting system will significantly increase the uptake rate to 75% and decrease the planting cost by 85%.
FIELD AND SOIL ANALYSIS
Drones can be used to determine the suitable planting patterns that will maximize the plant’s growth and harvest. It will also be the perfect tool for analyzing the soil for seed planting. After planting, the analyzed data gathered from the soil will be studied and used to determine the right amount of nitrogen level needed and which is the proper irrigation level for the plants.
The crop spraying drone will be equipped with ultrasonic echoing and lasers with LiDAR. This will enable the drone to avoid collision, so it can scan the field, then spray the right amount of liquid from the distance. The result will be efficient, because the liquid (containing growing-chemicals) will be applied and modulated by the drone, preventing it from spilling in excess on the ground. A recent study shows that the efficiency of aerial drone spraying is 5X faster than the traditional equipment.
One of the biggest issues in farming is monitoring the crops. Due to the vast fields of farm lands, the crop monitoring is at its lowest efficiency. Another problem is the unexpected weather conditions that add danger and maintenance cost. Conventional monitoring methods use satellite images, but there are drawbacks. The images need to be processed or requested in advance, and monitoring can only be done once a day and it’s inaccurate. The satellite monitoring services are costly and not reliable at all times, due to weather conditions. Researchers are now doing time-series animation to determine the precise crops growth, inefficient production, and improve crop management.
Drones are perfect for scanning the crops for any infection caused by a bacteria or fungus. With its mounted scanners (visible and near-infrared light), the drone can perform a thorough scan on the crops and identify which of them reflect NIR light or dissimilar quantity of green light. The data that the drone gathers produces a multispectral image that contains the changes happening in the crops and determine the overall health of the crops. If there is sickness detected, farmers can act accordingly, by giving precise medication. This will increase the crop’s survivability and, if the plants will not survive, the farmer will have all the supporting documents needed to claim the crop’s insurance.
The drone’s capabilities are endless, because they can be attached to any modules. Drones that are equipped with thermal sensors, hyperspectral and multispectral sensors will prove their worth in the field, by identifying which part of the farm is dry and which part needs further improvement. The irrigation drone is also responsible for identifying vegetation index (health and density of the crops). This drone can also be used to look for heat signatures (heat energy of the plant) that the crops emit while growth is observed.
Looking further in the future
The development that is happening right now is just the tip of the iceberg. Digging deeper will involve hybrid drone technology, that could do a variety of tasks with maximum efficiency. The integration of drone solutions in other industries is expected to swarm and dominate. Despite the success of drone solutions, issues, such as safety drone operation, insurance coverage inquiries, privacy, and the quality of data that will be collected should be talked and addressed, to make this revolution a success.
In response to the said issues, drone innovators will develop sophisticated sensors and cameras that will aid the drone’s efficiency doing its primary mandate.
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