This volume responds to the growing interest in adopting aerial robots (UAVs, or drones) for agricultural crop production, which are revolutionizing farming methods worldwide. The book provides a detailed review of 250 UAVs that examines their usefulness in enhancing profitability, yield, and quality of crop production.
Recent trends indicate an increase in agricultural drone production and use. Millions of dollars have been invested in start-ups that produce agro-drones in the past several years. North America, Europe, China, and the Far East have excelled in offering a large number of UAV models. Some of them are versatile, a few are specific, and many of them are low cost. With so many drone models (over 1200) available, how do farmers and agricultural specialists choose the models best for them?
This compendium examines the most useful drones and provides the pertinent details about each drone, its producer, cost incurred, and its pros and cons. It covers their technical specifications, suitability for various purposes, previous performances in farms, and possible benefits to farmers. It covers fixed-wing drones, fixed-winged (hybrid) VTOL helicopters, multi-copters, tilted-wing drones, etc. The book includes a few drones meant more for military or other purposes (e.g. recreation/fun) but that could be easily modified and adapted for the farming sector. The reviews compare activities among the UAVs, such aerial imagery of crops, ability to provide spectral analyses to collect useful data about a crop’s growth patterns, and how they can be used to gauge crop canopy temperature (i.e. water stress index), determine grain maturity, and much more.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction to Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Systems Utilized in Agriculture 2. Fixed-Wing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Systems Utilized in Agriculture 3. Helicopter and Multi-Rotor Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Systems Utilized in Agriculture 4. Parachutes, Blimps, Balloons, and Kites as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Useful in Agriculture 5. Sensors and Image Processing Computer Software Relevant to Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Based Technology in Agriculture 6. Applications of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Systems in Agriculture: A Few Examples
K. R. Krishna, PhD, is an agricultural scientist. He has authored several books on international agriculture, encompassing topics in agroecosystems, field crops, soil fertility and crop management, precision farming, and soil microbiology. His more recent titles deal with topics such as agricultural robotics and drones and satellite guidance to improve soil fertility and crop productivity. Dr. Krishna is retired from the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in India. He is a member of the International Society for Precision Agriculture, American Society of Agronomy, Soil Science Society of America, Ecological Society of America, Indian Society of Agronomy, and Soil Science Society of India.