Unmanned Surface Vehicles and potential impact on agriculture

Potential impact unmanned surface vehicles for agriculture

There is no doubt that the agricultural industry is one of the most dynamic and challenging fields. With the clock ticking on climate change and a growing global population to feed, farmers and agribusinesses have had to adapt and innovate to ensure that their plantations and businesses remain sustainable. Critically, the most significant transformation for agriculture issues is happening on the water. In the coming years, Unmanned surface vehicles (USVs) have the potential impact on agriculture to transform the way farms, bringing eyes and ears to areas that would otherwise be inaccessible to humans, increasing yields, and allowing to manage of crops better. 



Before we go into how USV impacts agriculture, let's know about UAVs in-depth. USVs include everything from small watercraft like boats and kayaks to larger vehicles like unmanned surface ships. The USV is a type of crewless vehicle that has been used for military purposes since the 1950s. After that, commercial and other sectors started utilizing it. USVs are used for various purposes, including exploration, reconnaissance, and transportation. They are also used for marine research, like studying and sampling the ocean floor and seafloor topography. The USVs can be equipped with sensors such as sonar systems, cameras, or infrared devices to help them navigate different terrains and environments. These devices can also be used for surveillance when equipped with radar or thermal imaging technology. Since the appearance is flexible and can be featured with devices, USV has a potential game-changer for agricultural development in ways:


  1. Unmanned Surface Vehicles allow farmers and agribusiness to evaluate water quality.

  2. Unmanned Surface Vehicles can provide data information about water irrigation systems.

  3. Unmanned Surface Vehicles reduce time and operational costs. 



Evaluating water quality

Many factors can affect water quality in the environment and within the plantation. These factors can include both environmental elements and activities within the plantation. It can also affect the productivity of crops grown in that area. The pollution can damage the essential plant nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus, which are critical for plant growth. Moreover, poor water quality can lead to soil erosion and decomposition. 

As such, unmanned surface vehicles can be used to monitor water quality, providing plantation managers with the peace of mind that the water being used is healthy and well-suited for the needs of the crops. It can help to conserve the health of the plantation and ensure that the crops are growing as best as possible.



Monitoring water level for irrigation

The water level in plantation areas can change depending on natural conditions. The water discharge will undoubtedly increase during the rainy season, but it can dry up during the dry season. The state of the water discharge that is not constant will affect the plantation irrigation channels. On the other hand, the plants on the plantation must get enough water to grow well. The canals have steep, long, and depth conditions, which unpredictable conditions may occur and can be dangerous for workers. In conventional plantation systems, workers must manually check the irrigation water flow. Bathymetry with USV accomplished through remote sensing and LiDAR technologies result in actionable insights for agriculture water irrigation management, efficient plantation operation, and increased yield production.



Bathymetry has become a critical technology for the agriculture industry to help determine the best areas for water-intensive crops. USV bathymetry uses data from underwater drone sensors to create three-dimensional maps of underwater topography, allowing farmers and agribusinesses to determine which areas are best suited for their water-intensive crops. As a result, they can improve irrigation and plantation management more efficiently, with less risk and cost. Moreover, bathymetry can deliver information to predict and mitigate environmental damage caused by underwater noise pollution and improve navigation for search-and-rescue operations. Bathymetry is commonly used in determining the best locations for mangrove plantations, which are often located in areas with high salinity, sediment, and nutrients.



Reducing operational costs and time

The most significant advantage of uncrewed boats is their ability to access areas that would otherwise be impossible to reach. Unlike crewed boats, USV can navigate in places that are too dangerous, too expensive, or too difficult to get a boat in. It means plantation teams can reach areas that have never been possible before, opening new opportunities for further agriculture water management exploration and research. In addition, crewless boats also offer workforce safety. USVs can reduce the risk of injury to workers by allowing them to operate from a distance. 





To sum up, there is no doubt that the agricultural industry is one of the most dynamic and challenging fields, especially when it comes to water management. As such, unmanned surface vehicles can be used to monitor water quality, providing plantation managers with the peace of mind that the water being used is healthy and well-suited for the needs of the crops. Avirtech provides USV bathymetry solutions for your agriculture water management solutions. Give us a call to learn more about our USV bathymetry for agriculture water management solutions. Please speak to info@avirtech.co for further information or demo request.




Posted by : Nurhayati

Published At : 14/04/2022 08:14:24

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