What can drones do for agriculture? The answer to this question boils down to the improvement of overall efficiency, but the significance of agricultural UAVs goes far beyond that. As drones become an indispensable part of smart (or "precision") agriculture, they can help farmers deal with various challenges and reap huge benefits.
Most of these benefits come from eliminating any guesswork and reducing uncertainty. The success of agriculture usually depends on many factors. Farmers have little or no control over weather and soil conditions, temperature, precipitation, etc. The key to efficiency lies in their adaptability, which is largely affected by the availability of accurate near real-time information.
Here, the use of drone technology can truly change the rules of the game. By acquiring large amounts of data, farmers can increase crop yields, save time, reduce expenses and act with unparalleled accuracy and precision.
The world as we know it today is fast-paced: changes and transformation happen almost in the blink of an eye. Adaptation is critical, and in view of population growth and global climate change, farmers will be required to use a new generation of technology to meet emerging challenges.
In order to better understand agricultural drones, let us take a closer look at drone technology. Generally, the UAV structure includes propulsion and navigation systems, GPS, sensors and cameras, programmable controllers, and equipment for automatic flight.
The technology used in agricultural drones is built to capture more accurate information than airplanes and satellites can collect. The drone-based agritech software processes the collected data and sends the data in an easy-to-read format.
All in all, the data collection process of agricultural drones includes four logical steps:
1. Indicate flight parameters: outline and evaluate the surveillance area, and upload GPS information to the UAV navigation system.
2. Autonomous flight: The UAV executes the flight mode according to the preset parameters and collects the required data.
3. Data upload: The drone submits the data it captures for processing and analysis.
4. Information output: After data processing, it is sent to farmers in a readable format. The report contains insightful information that can help make better farm management decisions.