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Are Drones going to replace ag Spraying Aircraft

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Are Drones going to replace ag Spraying Aircraft

Old 2nd Jun 2020, 15:18
  #21 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Farnham, Surrey
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What a load of drivel!

Originally Posted by currawong View Post
The label on a chemical drum is a legal document. It must be complied with. Essentially it is illegal to open that drum until that label is checked.

That label stipulates all the parameters acceptable to the regulator for the application for reasons of safety.
Right. So someone developing a commercial drone spraying operating needs to read the regulations, read the label and then develop and qualify a system to meet those requirements to the satisfaction of the regulator. This is just engineering, not rocket surgery. How do you think the original aeroplane-based systems were developed in the first place?

It will specify a droplet range required for aerial application. Say 300 + microns.(think drizzle/light rain) for reasons of drift mitigation.
So the drone developer will either use the same nozzles & feed system or develop and qualify a new one to the same spec (whichever was more cost effective). Again, just engineering, not brain science.

For the product to work, a certain amount of droplets are required per square cm on the target.

Lets say insecticide so 20 droplets per square cm.

This will require, and the label will specify, a total spray volume in the order of 30 liters per hectare. (this varies between products)

Aircraft are designed around these specs.

A drone on the other hand, with the reduced capacity, will distribute in the order of 1 or 2 liters per hectare (or less) at maybe 80 microns(or less) (think fly spray aerosol) to attempt to achieve the 20 droplets per square cm.
Only if it was designed by a moron. But if you were doing it as a commercial operation you would just develop a system that delivered to the specs.

This is contrary to the label instructions, read illegal.
This is a fictitious strawman, read technophobic gibbon!

The drone approach has disadvantages in terms of payload per flight, delivery rates and flight duration, but advantages in terms of more accurate delivery, faster turnaround and ability to operate in much tighter spaces. Short duration can be offset with frequent battery changes. Differential GPS-based control allows both the flight and the spray to be delivered withim a foot or two without markers. "pilot" skills come down to thorough training in the procedures and a a few hours familiarity with the vehicle. Flight doesn't have to be autonomous (with all the regulatory difficulties that currently involves) - it can be line-of-site with FPV guidance with the operator just sitting on a chair bolted to the top of a van.

All the smokescreen about drift safety is twaddle as well. There is no reason why drone-delivered spray would be any greater risk, and several reasons why it would be a lesser risk given that in the limit the drone could fly lower and/or slower if needed.

€0.0007 supplied,

PDR
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Old 2nd Jun 2020, 21:17
  #22 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Australia
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Originally Posted by PDR1 View Post
What a load of drivel!



Right. So someone developing a commercial drone spraying operating needs to read the regulations, read the label and then develop and qualify a system to meet those requirements to the satisfaction of the regulator. This is just engineering, not rocket surgery. How do you think the original aeroplane-based systems were developed in the first place?



So the drone developer will either use the same nozzles & feed system or develop and qualify a new one to the same spec (whichever was more cost effective). Again, just engineering, not brain science.



Only if it was designed by a moron. But if you were doing it as a commercial operation you would just develop a system that delivered to the specs.



This is a fictitious strawman, read technophobic gibbon!

The drone approach has disadvantages in terms of payload per flight, delivery rates and flight duration, but advantages in terms of more accurate delivery, faster turnaround and ability to operate in much tighter spaces. Short duration can be offset with frequent battery changes. Differential GPS-based control allows both the flight and the spray to be delivered withim a foot or two without markers. "pilot" skills come down to thorough training in the procedures and a a few hours familiarity with the vehicle. Flight doesn't have to be autonomous (with all the regulatory difficulties that currently involves) - it can be line-of-site with FPV guidance with the operator just sitting on a chair bolted to the top of a van.

All the smokescreen about drift safety is twaddle as well. There is no reason why drone-delivered spray would be any greater risk, and several reasons why it would be a lesser risk given that in the limit the drone could fly lower and/or slower if needed.

€0.0007 supplied,

PDR
Let us know when you have developed said systems. Hint - they tell me wind tunnels are quite expensive to hire.

Many chemicals are not registered for application by air simply because the research is too costly for the manufacturer to bother.

Too costly for the likes of (insert name of huge multi - national corporation here)

Why has the system not been built to comply from the outset? The regs are clear, build to that spec.

GPS guidance and sub meter accuracy is standard in aircraft and has been for over twenty years. Where have you been?

The "smokescreen" about drift safety is not. It is science based. Droplet behaviour is well documented.

But this is all just "twaddle".

The real limiting factor is how much work can be achieved by said tech and what one can charge for said work.

That is, if the machine is capable of doing say one hectare per hour and you are able to charge say $30 per hectare. If $30 an hour is enough to run you, your machine, support vehicle, insurance etc etc then good luck.
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Old 2nd Jun 2020, 23:19
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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Currawong, I think you're making a LOT of assumptions here. Firstly in particular with the nozzles, they actually specify the droplet size already so they've clearly realised this is something that needs to be known and I don't think getting different nozzles to suit would be an extremely difficult task and likely DJI will sell these as accessories. In the manual it actually has 2 different nozzles specified, one at 130-250um and the other at 170-265um.

Secondly in regards to the Chemicals there are no doubt a bunch of reasons why they haven't bothered to register then for Aerial Application, you're taking the fact that they haven't as some proof of your opinion when you don't have nearly enough information.

Next up you pull $30 per hectare out your butt clearly.

Honestly, you've clearly made up your mind that there's no way a Drone can do what you do and are working facts to match your opinion and a whole bunch of hyperbole on top of it.
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Old 2nd Jun 2020, 23:26
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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PDR1, The paddocks in Australia are often big enough to curve over the horizon. This isn’t Surrey.
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Old 3rd Jun 2020, 00:43
  #25 (permalink)  
 
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Yes, drones will replace Ag Spraying aircraft - when they can lift 800 gallons and cost less to buy and operate than an Airtractor or Thrush...
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Old 3rd Jun 2020, 01:46
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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I recon drones will replace Ag aircraft about the same time they start using drones for water bombing and passenger airline flights. Probably passenger flights will be sooner, the pilots just monitor a few putors and twiddle a few dials. A big plus without pilots you wouldn't need hosties to bring them coffee, if they put a vending machine near the toilets pax could feed themselves. Any bets when? 2080?
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Old 3rd Jun 2020, 04:38
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Ixixly View Post
Currawong, I think you're making a LOT of assumptions here. Firstly in particular with the nozzles, they actually specify the droplet size already so they've clearly realised this is something that needs to be known and I don't think getting different nozzles to suit would be an extremely difficult task and likely DJI will sell these as accessories. In the manual it actually has 2 different nozzles specified, one at 130-250um and the other at 170-265um.

Secondly in regards to the Chemicals there are no doubt a bunch of reasons why they haven't bothered to register then for Aerial Application, you're taking the fact that they haven't as some proof of your opinion when you don't have nearly enough information.

Next up you pull $30 per hectare out your butt clearly.

Honestly, you've clearly made up your mind that there's no way a Drone can do what you do and are working facts to match your opinion and a whole bunch of hyperbole on top of it.
Ixixly - Don't get me wrong, if you can do it, legally, safely, and make money, you go your hardest and I genuinely wish you well.

But I would not be doing the right thing if I did not make you aware of the pitfalls - it would be a bad thing if you "did your dough" finding out the hard way about what is pretty common knowledge.

Look into the points brought up as part of your "due diligence", if you will.

It is good that suitable nozzles are offered, it will be better when certified pattern test data becomes available. Somewhat unusual this is not already here.

How a half a hectare or third of a hectare payload (assuming 10 liter capacity) affects work rate you probably want to look at.

DJI for example, state a work rate of about 3 hectares per hour is possible. Load size/ volume to achieve that rate is not stated.

$30 per hectare? Out of my butt? I was being charitable. That is about twice what farmers will pay for broadacre aerial spraying, subject to regional variations of course.

Some farmers in specialist areas will pay that.

So rework the numbers at the going rate. Not sure if that helps or hinders you. I thought more would be better.

As for "registered by air". Research is done by the manufacturer. Some are found to be unsuitable by air. Some, the research by air is not done for cost reasons. Some registrations have "by air" withdrawn as they are found to be problematic in general use.

We deal with it all the time. Frequently ask when a product will be registered by air. The response is usually "too costly to justify the research".

But don't take my word for it. Try here - https://apvma.gov.au/





Last edited by currawong; 3rd Jun 2020 at 04:52.
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Old 5th Jun 2020, 23:54
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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Replace? Not anytime soon, but supplement and replace in parts, most definitely, including on crops and in situations where aerial spraying would never have been a goer before. I'd also not rely too heavily on the "it's the law" argument. Laws get changed on a daily basis and a chemical manufacturer who fronts up with all their little ducklings formed up and the requisite 250gb of supporting documentation will get it signed off. It'll all be dressed up in a smart shade of green, ($ and eco credentials), and only reactionary old white men could possibly take on that straw man.
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Old 6th Jun 2020, 00:08
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by spinex View Post
Replace? Not anytime soon, but supplement and replace in parts, most definitely, including on crops and in situations where aerial spraying would never have been a goer before. I'd also not rely too heavily on the "it's the law" argument. Laws get changed on a daily basis and a chemical manufacturer who fronts up with all their little ducklings formed up and the requisite 250gb of supporting documentation will get it signed off. It'll all be dressed up in a smart shade of green, ($ and eco credentials), and only reactionary old white men could possibly take on that straw man.
You must mean the Uber model. As in we are special so the law doesn't apply to us. Like Uber there would be every new arrival and extended family hiring a drone and heading of to work as a drone ag operator. Training courtesy of youtube and Bunnings gardening tips. Got to beat those reactionary old white men.
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Old 6th Jun 2020, 08:20
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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Drones do a fair job of what they were designed to do.

That is, replace a knapsack sprayer.
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Old 6th Jun 2020, 09:05
  #31 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2019
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While I really doubt drones will replace Air Tractors In their current role, (relatively tiny payload, limited duration), I bet that drones will be as common as tractors within a generation on cropping farms.

- satellite data is already widely used to measure crop health and pest detection. With the appropriate sensors, drones will do this with much greater resolution and in real time.

- as discussed, the appropriate sensors will allow targeted spraying of weeds, which would make payload less of an issue.

-on grazing properties, obviously fence checking, water troughs etc.

So in answer to the OP, I don’t think they’ll replace anything, but they will become another very useful tool.


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Old 6th Jun 2020, 22:32
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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C172 and similar assisted the horses in a muster, as did the motorbike - the "expensive" R22 has essentially replaced the horses.

Chemical companies produced a product to suit aircraft spaying - they can concentrate and adapt to suit lower,slower selective drone spaying.

Drones will be used when the agricultural data can see the benefit in $ terms. Not only are our framers pretty tough, they are pretty well educated. (Many do "research" far from CAsA eyes).
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Old 7th Jun 2020, 00:42
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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I have about 4 hectares of Capeweed that needs amicide right now. Bring your drone. I have the Amicide.
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Old 7th Jun 2020, 02:14
  #34 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
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Originally Posted by Sunfish View Post
I have about 4 hectares of Capeweed that needs amicide right now. Bring your drone. I have the Amicide.
Dear Sunny
Need a bit more detail. By this time of the season capeweed can be getting a bit of size on. Are you still relying on the spray recommendation your agronomist gave you when you bought the chemical 6 weeks ago. MCPA bromoxynil or mcpa dicamba may be preferable. Be aware that the label recommends about 1.5 lit/ha of chemical plus about 30 litres/ha of water. I have however, found that with my drone I get fab results with .5 litre and 5 litres water. What I like to call my 5/5 special. I am sure you don't have anything surrounding your 4 ha for me to worry about so I could probably fit it in tomorrow evening when it is lovely and calm.
Drones are us are here to help.
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Old 8th Jun 2020, 00:08
  #35 (permalink)  
 
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Sunny,
Friendly agronomist sent me this link. https://dpipwe.tas.gov.au/invasive-s...es-for-control
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Old 8th Jun 2020, 18:44
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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If we are thinking of a battery powered drone, no, for large area spraying duration and payload Is way too small. However if a turbine multi rotor craft was linked to GPS that has far better potential. Already ground sprayers are GPS automated just drive it to the field the machine does the rest but speed is limited by ground conditions.
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Old 9th Jun 2020, 01:23
  #37 (permalink)  
 
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Yamaha crop drones have been flying for a long time, they have an opposed twin two stroke.
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Old 10th Jun 2020, 09:01
  #38 (permalink)  
 
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Catty, thanks for the link.
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