Agriculture drones are defined as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) which aim to optimize the different farming activities. They act as an aid for the farmers for crop management and provide improved productivity. According to the market database, major applications are witnessed in precision farming, livestock monitoring, precision fish farming, and smart greenhouse.
These drones offer significant advantages over manual labor. They are capable enough to spray larger areas in less amount of time. The impact of unpredictable factors such as heavy rainfall, floods, and landslides can damage crop yield. These drones help to map the overall farming area and weather conditions to provide well-tailored solutions to avoid any wastage. Agriculture drones also help to conserve water up to a significant level.
According to the market database, the architecture of an agriculture drone can be divided into different parts. These include frames, controller systems, propulsion systems, camera systems, navigation systems, batteries, wires, connectors, power systems, carry cases, sprayers, and sprinklers.
Frames are utilized to provide an outer covering for a drone and act as a body. These are generally plastic-based or carbon fiber-based. The use of drone frames is by the required parameters. These parameters include durability, light-weight, speed, and overall performance. Controller systems are dedicated software and hardware modules that control the overall operation of a drone. Automated controller systems are housed on top of the drones and require little or no human intervention for operation. Manual controller systems involve the use of skilled professionals who can maneuver the drone at different altitudes to achieve specific tasks.
Navigation systems are used to map the entire environment and provide the drone with actual locations. Market analysis reports suggest that improved innovation in GPS and GIS technology has provided drones with enhanced traveling and positioning capabilities. Navigation systems can be used to mark the locations for spraying and inspection. Real-time data can be relayed by drones to improve decision-making. Batteries provide the run-time of a typical agriculture drone. The market database suggests that the developments in battery storage systems are expected to provide longer run-time for these drones.
Camera Unit Nomenclature:
According to Global Market Database, the camera system has contributed significantly to the overall architecture of the agriculture drone. It is a key component as the specifications decide the applications for which the drone has to be utilized. A camera unit is available in different types which include hyperspectral, multi-spectral, thermal, and near-infrared. The growth segments of this market and its rate of growth can be studied through Global Market Database. The market research tool studies the industrial contribution of the agricultural module to the overall world GDP.
The hyperspectral camera is best suited to investigate weed intrusion in farms. Multi-spectral and near-infrared cameras are used to differentiate healthy crops from non-healthy ones. The plants which are healthy radiate more amount of near-infrared (NIR) rays as compared to unhealthy ones. Thermal camera units are utilized for livestock monitoring to detect threats and pests. The advancements in camera systems have contributed towards a positive business outlook for agriculture drones.
Hardware & Software Types:
In a more general bifurcation, the agriculture drone is housed with hardware and software capabilities to provide various advantages. Market research tools state that the hardware vertical provides replacement, speed, and provide a competitive advantage. The hardware component consists of drone types which include fixed-wing drones, rotary blade drones, and hybrid drones.
According to the procured market database, Fixed-wing drones have experienced a greater share in the market due to increased capacity and flying distance. The rotary blade type is expected to attract more attention. This type of drone provides greater maneuverability and higher payload capacity. Rotary blade drones also have a compact design which has led to easier mapping and inspection of the fields.
The edge in drone performance is provided by processing and analytical capabilities. Modern drones are equipped with several software functionalities to aid in the decision-making process by providing actionable insights. The software vertical is further sub-divided into various types which include data management software, imaging software, and analytics software.
Market research tools state that the imaging software type has experienced a significant share in the market due to the need for field inspection in high-quality 3D images. Analytical software is expected to be the fastest-growing as it makes use of sophisticated artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) algorithms. This has provided the drones with real-time data processing and provide quick insights. The forecast trends for this market can also be studied using market research platforms like Global Market Database.
Growth Catalysts of Agriculture Drones:
The increase in the global population and improved acceptance of smart agriculture has contributed to the growth of this market. The innovation in this field has captured the attention of various venture capitalists. This is expected to drive business recovery in the post-COVID scenario. A greater emphasis on transformational software modules has led to the enhanced performance of agriculture drones. Free market data from platforms like Global Market Database can be used for secondary research. The trends gathered can also be used to shape the business outlook and business recovery for a global market.
Further technology advancements in the field of analytics have led to the integration of predictive and prescriptive types of analytics to provide rich information on the data collected. The use of IoT to improve communication between the sensors and farmers has led to an optimistic business outlook. Furthermore, according to the market database, the introduction of 5G technology is expected to increase the speed of data sharing and communication.
The development of the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NVDI) for crop scouting has pioneered innovation in this market. NVDI helps to inspect the progress of the crops with near-infrared sensors. The data captured by these sensitive sensors cannot be captured by the human eye. This has allowed increasing the crop yield. Several organizations have dedicated missions to support drone use in different industry verticals. Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) works with policymakers and the public to make use of UAV technology legal for civilian use.
North America Region Agriculture Drones Market:
The market database states that the region has experienced a greater share in the market due to higher demand for quality crops and increased acceptance of smart agriculture activities. The U.S.A has a well-established agriculture ecosystem that is supported by constant government initiatives. Other factors such as superior technology and research capacity have contributed towards a positive business outlook for this region.
In June 2016, the Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration finalized operations rule for the routine commercial operation of small drones for different activities. The rules eliminate the requirement of a pilot’s license for operation. This has led to easier buying options of drones for several use cases. In Feb 2016, the U.S market research reports suggested investments in UAVs and robotics worth USD 389 million in the year 2015.
APAC Region Agriculture Drones Market :
The Asia Pacific region is expected to be a significant contributor to the business recovery of agriculture drones in the post-COVID scenario. According to the market database, the rate of adoption of smart agriculture techniques has increased due to the greater population density in the area. Low-cost manufacturing has contributed towards increased deployment and investments. The market intelligence tool studies the segment-wise growth for a sector.
Furthermore, improved government initiatives to modernize the agricultural ecosystem coupled with technological advancements have propelled the growth in this region.
For instance, a major company in China 2019 launched the world’s first fully integrated multispectral imaging drone. This drone is designed for precision agriculture and environmental management.
Greater attention is also provided to disaster management and its impact on agriculture. In 2018, the Food and Agriculture Organization partnered with Myanmar. They worked with the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Irrigation (MOALI) to enhance disaster preparedness in the area using drones. Agricultural threats and anomalies in crop health can be detected with the help of advanced capabilities integrated with the drone.