Video-Using unmanned aircraft systems to manage insects and diseases

2018 ASVO Seminar; Frontline pest and disease management for healthy vineyards
Using unmanned aircraft systems to manage insects and diseases–the power of perspective.

Dr Brian McCornack, Kansas State University

Recent advances in remote sensing and geospatial image processing using small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) have aided in the development of rapid and commercial monitoring tools for crop management, including pest detection. Small UAS can generally provide increased operational flexibility and visibility over land-based methods; however, there are still limitations to using only an image-based approach for diagnosing field-level issues. For example, several factors (e.g., drought, insects, diseases, row-spacing, etc.) can affect crop vegetation values generated from sensors mounted to sUAS, and a physical sample is often required to confirm those changes in spectral responses. Small UAS platforms have progressed to the point of carrying payloads large enough to diversify tasks beyond sensor-based solutions, including the deployment of small, robotic elements or “widgets.” Continued adoption of this technology for use in pest management will be driven by its multi-functionality to maximize return on investment, and the feasibility of building robotic elements capable of different tasks (e.g., grasping, suction, dropping) will be discussed.