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ARS Home » Plains Area » College Station, Texas » Southern Plains Agricultural Research Center » Aerial Application Technology Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #388389

Research Project: Improved Aerial Application Technologies for Precise and Effective Delivery of Crop Production Products

Location: Aerial Application Technology Research

Title: A field program to determine the spray distribution of unmanned aerial spray systems and the development of larvicide systems for vector control

Author
item BONDS, JANE - Bonds Consulting Group
item Fritz, Bradley - Brad
item THISTLE, HAROLD - Forest Service (FS)

Submitted to: Aspects of Applied Biology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/12/2021
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: The application of vector control products using unmanned aerial spray systems provide for a potential to fill the gap between manned aircraft and ground applications allowing for larger areas than ground equipment at reduced cost and complexity than manned aircraft. However, there is limited guidance on the proper setup and use of these systems for larviciding and adulticiding operations. Two unmanned systems coupled with five nozzle types and a range of system configurations and meteorological conditions were evaluated for spray swath deposition characteristics and drift potential. System and nozzle type and location impacted the deposition patterns within and downwind of the effective swath. An improved understanding how these parameters interact to influence the transport and ultimate fate of sprays applied from unmanned aerial systems ensures effective biological control and insects vectoring diseases.

Technical Abstract: The application of vector control products is a crucial component of integrated vector management. Recent efforts in this area have focused on the use of unmanned Aerial Spray Systems for their potential to fill the gap between manned aircraft and ground application, compromising between the two methods being able to be used over larger areas than ground equipment at reduced cost and complexity than manned aircraft. However, there is limited literature focusing on the proper setup and use of these systems for larviciding and adulticiding operations. The objective of this effort was to design and conducted a series of large scale, conceptually linked studies that provide data that is used to guide system optimization and development of predictive. Two unmanned systems coupled with five nozzle types were used to conduct a swath characterization and drift trials designed to establishing effective swath widths, deposition variability, swath displacement, and drift. System and nozzle type, along with nozzle position and wind direction significantly impacted the spray deposition patterns within and downwind of the effective swath. Better understanding how these parameters interact to influence the transport and ultimate fate of sprays applied from unmanned aerial systems is critical to provide effective biological control and insects vectoring diseases.