As stated above the
agricultural sector not only in Bulgaria but on a world lever is about to
experience severe challenges if it wants to serve the growing food market. A
remedy to those problems might be “smart farming’, which stands for
high-technology farming techniques that can significantly improve the
production and in the same time minimize the cost and contribute to the
sustainable development. Drones are the latest addition to the precision
farming toolkit to collect key data sets used to make agronomic decisions.

The use of unmanned airplanes
to monitor crops can dramatically increase farm yields while minimizing labor,
time and cost of walking on the field or by vehicle, as well as an airplane to
take pictures of crops. With a drone, you can see your crops status via
real-time high resolution video on the screen to your remote or tablet.

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The devices allow field
capture, wireless data transmission, mapping and data processing with
appropriate software. Specialized software immediately processes all data on
captured images and maps on a tablet, laptop, or desktop computer. This
information will help farmers identify areas that need irrigation, plant
protection or are ready to harvest. The system is intuitive, does not require
special skills, and in most cases increases the efficiency of farmers by
relieving them from waiting for slow and low-resolution satellite imagery or
walking around the terrain.

 

When the area is small, the
farmer can easily cross the field and check for disease, drought and whether
the crop can be harvested. But bigger manufacturers today have to keep in touch
with all the plots of their farmland to rely on precision-based GPS based
farming and analytical data bases to increase yields and revenues, for example
by reducing pesticides and using the right quantities of water. Here even the
experienced eye cannot compete with the precision of new technological
solutions.

Drones work well even when
there is low clouds. This is crucial for monitoring crops at key moments of
their life cycle. They can use geotagging – geotagging different photos and
videos, transmitting them wirelessly along with all the data to a computer or
tablet featuring software that shows this georeferenced information as 3D maps
to help the farmer analyze crops and see where plants are growing well and
where there is need for intervention.

A constant data stream can be
fed into a mathematical model from which future events can be anticipated at an
early stage. So manufacturers can make more effective decisions about the
resources needed for each micro-segment of the whole field, they can estimate
the best time to harvest, decide how to deal with pest attacks.

Many modern agricultural
unmanned airplanes are completely autonomous, programmed to follow a certain
trajectory. They are equipped with instruments such as accelerometers,
gyroscopes, compasses as well as sensors to avoid obstacles. Autopilot makes
flying automatically, all calculated – from take-off to landing, maximizing
field coverage and getting all the necessary data. Users are not required to
manually generate and manage the flight plan, for example, according to weather
conditions. Instead, drones will automatically adapt to the conditions for
collecting the necessary high quality data.

Other technological
achievements of drones are very accurate software systems, and when you open
the product application on your smartphone, you can draw on the map the path
you want to cross the drones. There is also an option for an automatic landing
when the battery drops, and in order not to lose, it can be programmed to
return to where it is off.