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Smart Agriculture ›› 2020, Vol. 2 ›› Issue (4): 124-136.doi: 10.12133/j.smartag.2020.2.4.202003-SA005

• Special Issue--Agricultural Robot and Smart Equipment • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effect of Downwash Airflow Field of 8-rotor Unmanned Aerial Vehicle on Spray Deposition Distribution Characteristics under Different Flight Parameters

WANG Changling1,2(), HE Xiongkui1,3(), BONDS Jane4, QI Peng1,3, YANG Yi5, GAO Wanlin2()   

  1. 1.Centre for Chemicals Application Technology, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China
    2.College of Information and Electrical Engineering, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100094, China
    3.College of Science, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China
    4.Bonds Consulting Group LLC, Panama City 32408, USA
    5.Beijing TT Aviation Technology Co. Ltd. , Beijing 102202, China
  • Received:2020-03-10 Revised:2020-04-20 Online:2020-12-30 Published:2021-02-05
  • corresponding author: Xiongkui HE,Wanlin GAO E-mail:WCL1991@cau.edu.cn;xiongkui@ cau.edu.cn;gaowlin@cau.edu.cn


Pesticide application using UAV sprayer has become a new highlight in the development of agricultural machinery and plant protection in China. Spray droplets from UAV could reach the crop canopy and deposit on the control target surface under the assistance of rotor's downwash airflow after atomization, including a secondary atomization effect of airflow on the droplets, so the spray performance of aerial pesticide application is inseparable from the effect of the rotor's downwash airflow field. In order to explore the effect of downwash airflow field on UAV's spray deposition characteristics, taking the main model of eight-rotor UAV with "X-type" as the research object and designing the actual measuring test, a multi-channel micro-meteorology measurement system(MMMS) was used to determine the downwash airflow speed at different horizontal positions, and meanwhile the tracer Allura Red solution was applied instead of chemicals to obtain the distribution characteristics of spray deposition. The visual analysis of the measured results of the downwash airflow field distribution was focused, and then the distribution characteristics of both the downwash airflow field and the droplet deposition at a certain flight height and speed, and the correlation relationship between them were analyzed. During the flight operation of the 8-rotor UAV, as the flight speed increased from 1.0 to 6.0 m/s and the flight height increased from 1 to 2 m, the intensity of the downwash airflow field in directions of X, Y, and Z generally changed from strong to weak, and the distribution state changed from concentration to dispersion; the X direction airflow was the vortex generated by the interaction between the downwash airflow and the outside air and its effect on droplets was reversed flight direction; the airflow in Y direction was to the both sides from flight path, caused by the combination of downwash airflow and ground effect; the airflow in Z direction, the vertical downward component of the downwash airflow, had a direct promotion effect on spray deposition. Significant negative correlations were shown between both the flying speed and the peak value in the range of the downwash airflow field (P <0.05, r = -0.836), and the flying speed and the average deposition within the effective spray swath(P <0.05, r = -0.833). When the flight speed was 1.0 and 3.0 m/s, the droplet deposition showed a very significant positive correlation with downwash airflow speed(P <0.01, r> 0), that was, the stronger the downwash airflow field in the vertical ground direction, the more droplets deposited in the effective spray swath. When the flight speed increased to 6.0 m/s, the wind speed was significantly reduced, and the promotion effect of the downwash airflow field on the droplet deposition disappeared(P> 0.05). The operation speed of UAV should not be set faster than 6.0 m/s to avoid the chemicals loss caused by the weakened effect of the downwash airflow field. The findings of this study are expected to provide theoretical basis and data support for improving the quality of low-altitude and low-volume application operations and the formulation of UAV field operations specifications.

Key words: unmanned aerial vehicle, droplet, 8-rotor, downwash airflow field, deposition distribution

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