Pesticide Spraying with UAVs in Agriculture

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GRØN DYST 2014 Technical University of Denmark

Pesticide Spraying with UAVs in Agriculture
Paper
Author:F. Budde (DTU Mechanical Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, Denmark)
C.R. Thomsen (DTU Mechanical Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, Denmark)
M. Jakobsen (DTU Mechanical Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, Denmark)
M.U. Ellinger (DTU Mechanical Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, Denmark)
T.R.L. Nielsen (DTU Mechanical Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, Denmark)
B.S. Nissen (DTU Mechanical Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, Denmark)
Date: 2014-06-27     Track: Main     Session: 1

Pesticides used in agriculture are commonly considered as a burden, and recently further restrictions to the spraying volume have been made to protect the environment. An Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) is a solution to minimize the amount of pesticides when applying poison to weed and fungi-infected crops. Utilizing UAVs as a supplement to traditional trailed sprayers carries many advantages, e.g. they can work at the most optimal hours of the day regarding wind conditions and humidity, and expensive man-hours are not a cost. Because of total mobility, UAVs can spray on rough grounds and avoid tramlines, thus having the smallest possible impact on the crops. But most important is that only weed- and fungi-infected areas are sprayed with pesticides, keeping the crucial pesticide volume to a minimum. As a proof of concept we want to present a spraying and refill mechanism that could be used with an UAV. A system for automatic battery shifting will also be presented in order for the solution to be fully autonomous. Only mechanical aspects of aerodynamics and vibrations will be taken into account because of limited time, so some of the electrical problems might not be completely solved.