AeroVironment Advances Drones in Agriculture via University Collaboration Project

Applied Tech Review | Monday, October 12, 2020

AeroVironment offers drones to universities that perform research in agriculture to improve farming practices.

FREMONT, CA: AeroVironment, a superior manufacturer of unmanned aircraft systems and tactical missile systems, is excited to expand its applications into farming. As part of the 2019 Quantix and AeroVironment decision support system (AV DSS) University Collaboration project, the company is working to improve the future of farming. As a primary step towards this goal, AeroVironment has donated more than 90 Quantix hybrid drone and AV DSS ecosystems to the universities. Agricultural departments of 35 universities including Ohio State University, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, North Dakota State University, Cornell University, Purdue University, University of Georgia, University of Florida, and the University of Louisiana-Monroe have received this offering.

These universities will employ the Quantix drones and AeroVironment decision support system for academic research as in a variety of in-field trials, applications, and precision agriculture systems research covering areas such as crop health and input management. Through artificial intelligence, these drones detect weeds, pests, and diseases and predict crop yield with improved accuracy. Besides, the students are benefitted by hands-on-experience in drones. The universities tend to share this hands-on experiences and insights, and give suggestions on how drones can improve in-field performance while advancing the adoption of drone-based technologies.

Quantix, a hybrid drone built for crop scouting, features simple operating mechanism with the touch of a button including fully automated takeoff, flight, and landing operations. It can survey large area up to 400 acres in just 45 minutes. During the flight, the dual 18–megapixel cameras produce multispectral images, and the integrated sensors capture high-resolution color. It then wirelessly transmits the true color and Normalized Difference Vegetative Index (NDVI) imagery to the handheld devices of the farmers who investigate the crop-related issues.

However, to provide deeper insights into resource management, plant emergence, inputs, and vegetative health, Quantix seamlessly integrates with AV DSS to execute advanced image processing and data analytics including NDVI, GNDVI, True Color, anomaly detection, canopy coverage, and more. AeroVironment focuses on serving the latest generation of farmers, enabling them to derive the benefits of drone technology in acquiring high-resolution imagery to improve farming practices.

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