Drone and Data Analytics Ecosystem to Be Used in a Wide Variety of Precision Agriculture Research Studies
AeroVironment, Inc., a global leader in unmanned aircraft systems for both defense and commercial applications, announced its 2019 Quantix and AV DSS University Collaboration Project. The project’s focus is to advance academic research, applications and crop production practices to improve the future of farming through the use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and advanced data analytics.
“Working with the team at AeroVironment moved our drone-based agriculture research forward beyond what we could have done otherwise”
Through the project, AeroVironment has donated 87 Quantix hybrid drone and AV DSS ecosystems to the agricultural departments of 35 universities throughout the U.S., including Purdue University, The Ohio State University, Cornell University, University of Louisiana-Monroe, University of Florida, University of Georgia, North Dakota State University, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and many others.
Participating universities will employ AeroVironment’s Quantix hybrid drone and AV DSS data analytics platform in a variety of in-field trials, application usage studies and precision agriculture systems research covering areas such as crop nutrient and input management, artificial intelligence for detecting weeds, pests and diseases, and improved accuracy of crop yield prediction. Participating universities will share their hands-on experience, along with use-case insights that can improve in-field performance and advance the adoption of drone-based technologies for the agriculture industry.
“Working with the team at AeroVironment moved our drone-based agriculture research forward beyond what we could have done otherwise,” noted professor Quirine Ketterings, Cornell University Nutrient Management Spear Program. “Ultimately, our goal is to develop accurate corn yield predictions based on in-season nitrogen applications to achieve an optimal economic return for the producer.”
Featuring automated precision flight operation and an innovative VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing) hybrid design, Quantix is purpose-built for crop scouting, and can survey up to 400 acres in just 45 minutes. During flight, integrated sensors capture high-resolution color and multispectral imagery via dual 18 megapixel cameras. On-board processing wirelessly transmits true color and NDVI imagery to the included operating tablet as soon as the drone lands, allowing growers to investigate issues while still in the field. For more detailed analysis, Quantix seamlessly integrates with AV DSS to perform advanced image processing and data analytics, including True Color, NDVI, GNDVI, canopy coverage, anomaly detection and more, providing users with deeper insights into plant emergence, vegetative health, inputs and resource management.
“AeroVironment’s donation of Quantix and AV DSS will enable participating universities to quickly and easily gain the on-demand field intelligence they need to advance multiple areas of agriculture research, while enhancing the understanding and application of drone-based technology,” said Rick Pedigo, vice president of business development at AeroVironment. “With on-demand access to high resolution imagery and advanced data analytics, we’re preparing the latest generation of farmers to employ drone technology, such as Quantix and AV DSS, throughout their farming practices, improving crop production and farming efficiencies for years to come.”
“Working with industry leaders such as AeroVironment allows our program to stay on the forefront of the UAS field. The donation of two drones to our program will allow us to provide outstanding hands-on experience to our students,” said Paul Karlowitz, director of operations, University of Louisiana Monroe’s Precision Agriculture and UAS Research Center.
Several participating universities will feature Quantix and AV DSS at upcoming agriculture and UAS learning events:
- University of Illinois Department of Crop Sciences – Agronomy Day, Aug. 22, 2019
- Kansas State University – UAS Tech Forum, Aug. 21-22, 2019
- Purdue University – NACAA Forum, Sept. 8-12, 2019
- The Ohio State University – Farm Science Review, Sept. 17-19, 2019