Unmanned aerial system (UAS) refers to any air-borne vehicle and attached sensors that are operated remotely by a pilot or fly autonomously. The application of UAS’s in agriculture have expanded rapidly in recent years from remote sensing for in-season crop management to application of dry granular and crop protection products. Many different types of UAS platforms and sensors with varying capabilities are available and being utilized currently for remote sensing and other applications in precision agriculture.    

In our program, the research with UAS is broadly focused in two main areas:

  1. Evaluating application of different sensors (visual, multispectral and thermal) equipped on UAS for detection and identification of soil and crop properties of interest
  2. Assessing performance of application systems on UAS sprayers and spreaders to inform best management practices for their effective utilization    

We are currently utilizing several UAS platforms in projects related to remote sensing and product applications. Some of the ongoing projects are listed below:

  • Stand count assessments using visual and multispectral imagery in corn, cotton and peanut
  • Utilizing visual and multispectral imagery for estimating yield-determining physiological parameters and predicting yield in cotton
  • Investigating potential of high-resolution aerial imagery for weed detection and prescriptive pesticide applications
  • Evaluating the influence of different parameters (speed, height and nozzle type) on application performance of pesticide and granular applications with UAS
  • Spray coverage and swath assessment for different commercially available UAS sprayers