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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Pesticide Application Technologies for Spray-drift Management, Maximizing In-field Deposition, and Targeted Spraying

Location: Crop Production Systems Research Unit

Title: Development and prospect of unmanned aerial vehicles for agricultural production management

Authors
item Huang, Yanbo
item Thomson, Steven
item Hoffmann, Wesley
item Lan, Yubin
item Fritz, Bradley

Submitted to: International Journal of Agricultural and Biological Engineering
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 20, 2013
Publication Date: September 15, 2013
Citation: Huang, Y., Thomson, S.J., Hoffman, W.C., Lan, Y., Fritz, B.K. 2013. Development and prospect of unmanned aerial vehicles for agricultural production management. International Journal of Agricultural and Biological Engineering. 6(3):1-10.

Interpretive Summary: In agricultural production management, UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) have been developed and used for chemical application and remote sensing over the crop fields. Compared to piloted airplanes, an UAV can cover smaller crop fields in lower flight altitude than regular airplanes to perform highly precise site-specific management. Chemical application is frequently needed at specific time and location. Monitoring of crop plant health is required routinely. UAV is an equipment to help fulfill the goals of precision agriculture with a high focus. This paper reviews the development of the UAV technology for agricultural production management.

Technical Abstract: Unmanned aerial vehicles have been developed and applied to support agricultural production management. Compared to piloted aircrafts, an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) can focus on small crop fields in lower flight altitude than regular airplanes to perform site-specific management with high precision for precision farming. In agriculture, UAVs have mainly been developed and used for crop production and protection material application and remote sensing. Agricultural application of fertilizers and chemicals is frequently needed at specific time and location for highly accurate site-specific management. Routine monitoring of crop plant health is often required with super-resolution for highly accurate site-specific management as well. UAVs are the technology to fulfill the goals of such crop management for precision agriculture. This paper reviews the development of the UAV technology for agricultural production management. The limitations of current UAVs for agriculture production management are discussed. The future of development and application of the UAV technology in agricultural production management is discussed.

Last Modified: 11/28/2014
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