Realizing profitability with BVLOS UAV precision agriculture
As an alternative to expensive manned aviation or limited ground-based observation, drones have the potential of realizing profitability with BVLOS UAV precision agriculture. Unmanned aerial surveying allows farmers to improve productivity as well as maximize the quality and yield of their crops.
In addition to data capture, drones can be used to plant seeds, apply pesticides, and perform a variety of other tasks with much greater speed and precision than manual methods can achieve.
With the ability to deliver imagery and sensor data that beats dated and low-resolution and/or non-cost-effective methods, the demand for drone-based precision agriculture is on the rise. This demand is driven by the advancement and increased accessibility of drone technology and services.
Owners of large farms spanning hundreds or thousands of acres can especially stand to benefit from drone technology. It will allow them to cover their entire holdings in days instead of taking weeks or possibly months. Moreover, Gathering real-time data will assist with decision making and action taking almost immediately. In fact, these are vital elements given the seasonal nature of farming and the need to quickly take advantage of fleeting weather conditions.
The bottlenecks in scaling up for economic viability
Currently, regulatory landscapes around the world are making it difficult to turn this dream into reality. In most countries, operating a drone is largely limited to visual line-of-sight (VLOS), even in rural areas. That means that drones can fly at most around 500 meters away from their operators. For an agricultural professional with a lot of land to cover, this means hard labor. Driving from field to field, setting up and repacking the drone each time, and painstakingly trudging through the work in a piecemeal fashion. This excessive drain on time and resources will quickly destroy any perceived efficiency boost from using unmanned technologies.
In order to realize the advantages of economy of scale, and to enable autonomous operations with fleets of drones, BVLOS (beyond visual line of sight) flights will be required. As anyone following the ever-changing drone industry knows, the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and other aviation regulatory bodies keep a tight leash on BVLOS operations. They approve only a small proportion of the requests for authorization that they receive.
The good news is that the game is slowly changing.
If you can prove that your BVLOS drone platform is safe, ultra-reliable, and up to spec, your chances of getting on the road to certification increase significantly.
A foolproof solution for long-range drone precision agriculture
The Halo platform, powered by Elsight’s 6th sense technology, provides an unprecedented solution for BVLOS operations. Halo is the key to overcome barriers to BVLOS drone certification – connectivity and safety. Agricultural holdings that span vast areas may vary dramatically in the availability of communications options. Moreover, regulators require assurance that your long-range drone platforms can continue to operate seamlessly. In addition, regulators seek safety factors with foolproof failover protection, no matter the network conditions.
The versatile, highly reliable 6th sense technology powering Halo, aggregates any available network in any given location. That creates a secure communications tunnel that automatically selects the most suitable options in any environment. The system allows you to stay connected with an always-on solution for both data and command & control that can be easily established from anywhere, to anywhere. Halo delivers the promise of failover protection while maintaining a steady connectivity stream at all times.
Halo allows your BVLOS agricultural solutions to work at an unlimited range with unlimited scalability. This provides drones with the ability to safely integrate into farm environments. Now is the time to take advantage of large-scale operations. Making precision agriculture both efficient and economically viable for everyone is now a no brainer.
Written by Ronny Vatelmacher
Director of product management, Elsight