Development of a Low-Volume Sprayer for an Unmanned Helicopter

  •  Yanbo Huang    
  •  W. Hoffman    
  •  Yubin Lan    
  •  Bradley Fritz    
  •  Steven Thomson    


An UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) can target much smaller areas with lower flight altitudes than conventional, piloted airplanes. In agriculture, UAVs have been mainly developed and used for chemical application and remote sensing. Application of fertilizers and chemicals is frequently needed at specific time and location for highly accurate site-specific management. UAVs provide a technology to fulfill the goals of such site-specific crop management as part of modern precision applications to agricultural crops. This research focused on development of a new low-volume sprayer for an UAV helicopter to be used for vector control, which is potentially extended to crop production management. The developed UAV-based low-volume sprayer was able to deliver liquid covering the 30-m swath width, 42-m downwind. Deposition results from monofilament lines demonstrated that the spray coverage was sensitive to the power voltage but not release height, while the deposition measurement from rotary impactors may need to be refined to achieve higher resolution and lower variance. The developed UAV application technology is useful for precision delivery of chemicals to the right place at right time.

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