Unmanned aircraft systems company AeroVironment published details from its pilot program and debuted a new drone and support system at the World Ag Expo and National Farm Machinery Show Feb. 14 in Tulare, CA.
Based in Monrovia, with operations in Simi Valley, the company partnered with farmers and universities to develop a drone that would identify canopy cover, early diseases and yield capabilities for a variety of crops. The hybrid fixed-wing, multi-rotor Quantix drone and its AV Decision Support System are equipped with photogrammetry, multispectral and LiDAR sensors to map things like drainage and erosion, with a one-inch resolution.
“Our extensive work with early adopter agriculture customers continues to inform the architecture for our Quantix drone and AeroVironment Decision Support System,” Jon Self, vice president of commercial information solutions said in a news release. “The pilot programs allow us to learn how to integrate drone technology into the way growers operate and is helping us to develop some very specific analytics.”
The AV DSS will have a mobile platform equipped with an alert system to notify farmers of anomalies and stressors in the field. The pilot program will extend into 2017, researching other types of crops, and the products will be available for sale later in the year, the statement said.
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