Why not use DGPS for UAV pesticide spraying?

Spaying accuracy is one of the most important reasons that the fully automatic drones are not widely used in the pesticide spraying application. The accuracy is mainly constraint by the GPS positioning accuracy.


But what about using DGPS (not mean SBAS) in this application? It may cost around 10000 USD but I guess most of the users may be able to afford it. And fully automatic drone with DGPS will be able to spray pesticide more accurately than manually controlled drone.

Why DGPS is still not widely used in this area? What are the reasons?

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    • with no intention of being negative, just digging into the challenges of this interesting topic: there is one point to consider: drift management. Regardless of the precision of the GPS, who will make the decision of how to manage the drift (of the applied product)? In the case of airplanes, the pilot does the job. Some pesticides would travel miles on the air under certain conditions, it´s a fact, you wouldn´t want to spray your neighbour´s field...

      I understand Yamaha´s RMax s are used in Japan for spraying purposes, I am curious how they do it.

    • The drones fly only 2-5 meters above the crops and the there's strong downwash from the rotor. The pesticide won't drift away normally. So for fully automatic flight, the GPS precision will be essential.

  • I believe that more of a problem will be carrying the water (+chemical/s), more than mounting/utilizing a DGPS. 

    In Japan they use Yamaha´s RMAX for spraying.

    • I don't get your point. Do you mean the problem is more about c.g. range due to the liquid movement and load? It is a critical problem but I guess it is the same for non/half automatic drone and fully automatic drone. I don't get how could this problem block the fully automatic control and navigation application in pesticide spaying area.

    • talking about the payload. It will all depend on much area you want to spray, which volume of water per unit of area, and how much weight can your drone carry.

      Make your math and you´ll probably see that you´ll need a large drone to cover a  small area.

      My point is that I don´t see what would be the advantage of a drone over an airplane, for spraying purposes? talking of commercial fields in extensive crops.

      If they were very small fields, or experimental plots, that´s a different story.

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