Welcome to Smart Agriculture

Smart Agriculture ›› 2019, Vol. 1 ›› Issue (2): 20-33.doi: 10.12133/j.smartag.2019.1.2.201812-SA025

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Key technology analysis and research progress of UAV intelligent plant protection

Xu Min1,2, Zhang Ruirui1,2, Chen Liping1,2,*(), Tang Qing1,2, Xu Gang1,2   

  1. 1. National Research Center of Intelligent Equipment for Agriculture, Beijing 100097, China
    2. Beijing Research Center for Intelligent Agricultural Equipment, Beijing 100097, China
  • Received:2018-12-31 Revised:2019-04-02 Online:2019-04-30
  • corresponding author: Chen Liping,  Email: chenlp@nercita.org.cn
  • About author:Xu Min,Email:xum@nercita.org.cn
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(31771674);Beijing Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences 2018 Innovation Capacity Building Special Project (KJCX20180424); Beijing Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences 2016 Youth Research Fund (QNJJ201632)


UAV plant protection operation faces very complicated environmental conditions. On one hand, its ultra low altitude operations are vulnerable to ground structures and basic hydropower facilities; on the other hand, the effectiveness of plant protection operation is strong, and it is necessary to spray the pesticides to the specific parts of crops at the prescribed time so as to ensure good pesticide application effect. At present, UAV plant protection technology mainly refers to the existing mature technology and flight platform in general aviation field to basically "fly and spray". However, the lack of penetrating research and theoretical guidance on environmental perception in farmland operation, the movement mechanism of droplets under the rotor airflow, and the penetrability of the droplet to different crops canopy lead to low penetration rate of the UAV plant protection operation, easy drifting, frequent accidents, large damage probability and low comprehensive operational efficiency. Benefiting from the breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, parallel computing technology and intelligent hardware, the UAV plant protection technology is developing in the direction of intellectualization, systematization and precision. The real-time perception of the environment under non established conditions, intelligent job decision method based on intelligent recognition of crop diseases and pests, the control of the toward-target pesticide spraying control based on the variable of wind field droplet deposition model and the data based job evaluation system have gradually become the key technology of the UAV intelligent plant protection. The manuscript analyzed and summarized the research status and technical achievements in the field of UAV intelligent plant protection from the field information perception, the modeling and optimization control of accurate pesticide application, the evaluation and monitoring of the operation effect. Based on the existing research, the research also predicted the development trend of the key technologies of intelligent UAV plant protection in the future. The clustering method of hyper-spectral image acquisition and computational intelligence based deep learning recognition will become the key technology for real-time and efficient acquisition of crop target information in plant protection work, which greatly improves the accuracy of remote sensing information inversion recognition; machine vision and multi machine cooperative sensing technology can acquire dynamic information of field operation at multiple levels and time; the high precision droplet spectrum control technology independently controlled by nozzle design and the precision variable spraying control technology based on the wind field model can further improve the droplet deposition effect and reduce the liquid drifting; the breakthrough of high accuracy mesh solution technology will change the prediction mode of droplet drift from artificial experience judgment to computer simulation and numerical deduction; the job path planning technology will greatly improve the efficiency of multi machine and multi area operation and reduce the distance of invalid operation; the job quality evaluation based on the real-time data of the sensor and the operation supervision system of large data technology will replace people to effectively control the process of the UAV plant protection operation, achieve data and transparency of plant protection, and ensure the process is observable and controllable.

Key words: UAV, plant protection, intelligence, sensing, spraying

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