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  Nano and Micro Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs): A New Grand Challenge for Precision Agriculture?

Gago, J., Estrany, J., Estes, L., Fernie, A. R., Alorda, B., Brotman, Y., et al. (2020). Nano and Micro Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs): A New Grand Challenge for Precision Agriculture? Current Protocols in Plant Biology, 5(1): e20103. doi:10.1002/cppb.20103.

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Gago, J.1, Author              
Estrany, Joan2, Author
Estes, Lyndon2, Author
Fernie, A. R.1, Author              
Alorda, Bartomeu2, Author
Brotman, Yariv2, Author
Flexas, Jaume2, Author
Escalona, José Mariano2, Author
Medrano, Hipólito2, Author
Affiliations:
1Central Metabolism, Department Willmitzer, Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, Max Planck Society, ou_1753339              
2External Organizations, ou_persistent22              

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Free keywords: MAVs, NAVs, phenotyping, remote sensing, UAVs
 Abstract: Abstract By collecting data at spatial and temporal scales that are inaccessible to satellite and field observation, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are revolutionizing a number of scientific and management disciplines. UAVs may be particularly valuable for precision agricultural applications, offering strong potential to improve the efficiency of water, nutrient, and disease management. However, some authors have suggested that the UAV industry has overhyped the potential value of this technology for agriculture, given that it is difficult for non-specialists to operate UAVs as well as to process and interpret the resulting data. Here, we analyze the barriers to applying UAVs for precision agriculture, which range from regulatory issues to technical requirements. We then evaluate how new developments in the nano- and micro-UAV (NAV and MAV, respectively) markets may help to overcome these barriers. Among the possible breakthroughs that we identify is the ability of NAV/MAV platforms to directly quantify plant traits using methods (e.g., object-oriented classification) that require less image calibration and interpretation than spectral index–based approaches. We suggest that this potential, when combined with steady improvements in sensor miniaturization, flight precision, and autonomy as well as cloud-based image processing, will make UAVs a tool with much broader adoption by agricultural managers in the near future. If this wider uptake is realized, then UAVs have real potential to improve agriculture's resource-use efficiency. © 2020 by John Wiley Sons, Inc.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2020
 Publication Status: Published in print
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 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1002/cppb.20103
BibTex Citekey: doi:10.1002/cppb.20103
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Title: Current Protocols in Plant Biology
Source Genre: Journal
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Pages: - Volume / Issue: 5 (1) Sequence Number: e20103 Start / End Page: - Identifier: -