IDTechEx: Unmanned Electric Aircraft Take Agriculture by Storm

The DLG (German Agricultural Society) Field Days 2014, held recently at the DLG Crop Protection Center at Bernberg-Strenzfeld, Germany, showcased many new innovations in crop production for the German and other European producers present.

This year’s event had special emphasis on drones, notably quadcopters and other multicopters for spotting disease, underwatering and many other conditions plus some fixed wing versions. Interest in their deployment in agriculture has exploded in the last year. Smaller, lighter and easier to operate, they exhibit greater virtuosity with more types of sensor. Producers now deploy them after a few hours of practice, often simulated on the computer. Many systems were on display, with tools and information to use the technology to its fullest potential.

New technologies will be seen in and on them, from smart skin to structural components and intelligent motors with integral gearing. For long range UAVs where batteries are inadequate and hybrid powertrains are necessary, there can still be silent take-off and landing.