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Feb 15, 2017 | News

AeroVironment advances agriculture capabilities

AeroVironment wants to ensure its solutions meet the needs of commercial farmers and operators. The company revealed details about its ongoing research program to expand the agronomic analytics and capabilities of its drone and analytics platform.

“Our extensive work with early adopter agriculture customers continues to inform the architecture for our Quantix drone and AeroVironment Decision Support System,” said Jon Self, vice president of Commercial Information Solutions at AeroVironment. “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. Our results and experience from working with multiple crops guide our design to give farmers an intuitive solution that is the first of its kind in the marketplace.”

The program, which is headed into its third year, has focused on improving crops such as almonds, walnuts, corn, grapes, strawberries and tomatoes using photogrammetry, multispectral and LiDAR sensors. The research is designed to test how analytics can be used to detect disease early and predict crop yields.

In addition, the company is expanding its research on how UAVs can help improve crops. AeroVironment is teaming up with California State University, Fresno on using UAV imagery and analytics to detect water stress levels in almond trees. The company is also working with North Dakota State University on a similar study that will look into sugar beets.