Performance attributes of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) con gured for aerial pesticide application operations
There is worldwide interest in the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones for a wide range of purposes. One area of focus relevant to New Zealand is use of UAVs as aerial platforms for pesticide spray operations. While not yet in common use in New Zealand, there are many potential areas of application for this type of technology including small scale pest eradication operations in urban environments as part of biosecurity responses, treatment of widespread wilding conifers with herbicides, and small-scale pest management operations in a range of productive sector environments. One example of the latter currently being investigated is application of herbicide to compartment edges in forestry situations where the lower release height compared with a helicopter could significantly reduce spray drift. This poster summarises early results from studies to quantify some performance attributes of a UAV con gured for both biosecurity and conventional spray operations. Swath patterns were measured from a UAV configured with a range of nozzle types and under various operating conditions. From these data, potential work rates were calculated for different application scenarios.