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Smart Agriculture ›› 2021, Vol. 3 ›› Issue (3): 38-51.doi: 10.12133/j.smartag.2021.3.3.202107-SA005

• Topic--Intelligent Plant Protection Machinery and Spraying Technology • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Evaluation of Droplet Size and Drift Distribution of Herbicide Sprayed by Plant Protection Unmanned Aerial Vehicle in Winter Wheat Field

WANG Guobin1,2(), HAN Xin1,2, SONG Cancan1,2, YI Lili1,2, LU Wenxia1,2, LAN Yubin1,2,3()   

  1. 1.College of Agricultural Engineering and Food Science, Shandong University of Technology, Zibo 255049, China
    2.Shandong Provincial Engineering Technology Research Center for Agricultural Aviation Intelligent Equipment, Zibo 255049, China
    3.College of Electronics Engineering/College of Artificial Intelligence, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou 510642, China
  • Received:2021-07-11 Revised:2021-08-20 Online:2021-09-30


With the continuous increase of the spraying area, the problem of droplet drift risk in the spraying process of UAV is becoming increasingly prominent, especially the herbicide drift. In order to clarify the effect of the herbicide solution on the droplet size and the deposition and drift distribution characteristics sprayed by UAVs, the droplet sizes of 15 herbicide solutions sprayed by the centrifugal rotary atomizer nozzle installed in the plant protection UAV were measured in the laboratory, and the distribution of droplet deposition and drift in the spraying area and drift area were measured by adding a fluorescent tracer (60 g/hm2) to the tank in the field. The results showed that the herbicide solution had a significant effect on the droplet size distribution. The DV50 of all the other solutions was reduced after sprayed by the centrifugal atomizer except the Carfentrazone-ethyl water dispersible granule, and the maximum decrease ratio was 22.0%. The proportion of small droplets (V<150 μm) increased, with the maximum value of 50.8%. When the environmental crosswind speed was 3.76 m/s, the coverage and number of droplets in the spraying area were only 41.3% and 42.2% of that at 0.74 m/s, and the deposition uniformity was significantly reduced. In the drift zone, the deposition amount of droplets was under 10% of in-swath zone at the downwind of 12 m, and the deposition of all the treatments at 50 m was lower than detection limits (0.0002 μL/cm2). The drift ratio increased with the wind speed increased. When the crosswind speed reached 3.76 m/s, the drift ratio of droplets was 46.4%. Under different crosswind, 90% of the total measured spray drift were 4.8?22.4 m. By fitting the deposition in the drift zone with drift distance and crosswind speed, the downwind deposition was proportional to the crosswind speed. This study provides data support for droplet drift distance of plant protection UAV spraying in wheat fields at different wind speeds in winter and provides a basis for spray drift buffer zone, drift risk assessment, and relevant standard formulation.

Key words: plant protection unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), wheat, herbicide formulation, droplet size, crosswind speed, droplets deposition and drift

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