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Drones 2018, 2(3), 25;

Evaluation of Altitude Sensors for a Crop Spraying Drone

Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), Porto Alegre, RS 90035-190, Brazil
Skydrones Avionics Technology, Porto Alegre, RS 91020-030, Brazil
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 July 2018 / Revised: 20 July 2018 / Accepted: 26 July 2018 / Published: 1 August 2018
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This work aims to study and compare different range finders applied to altitude sensing on a rotating wings UAV. The specific application is the altitude maintenance for the fluid deployment valve aperture control in an unmanned pulverization aircraft used in precision agriculture. The influence of a variety of parameters are analyzed, including the tolerance for crop inconsistencies, density variations and intrinsic factors to the process, such as the pulverization fluid interference in the sensor’s readings, as well as their vulnerability to harsh conditions of the operation environment. Filtering and data extraction techniques were applied and analyzed in order to enhance the measurement reliability. As a result, a wide study was performed, enabling better decision making about choosing the most appropriate sensor for each situation under analysis. The performed data analysis was able to provide a reliable baseline to compare the sensors. With a baseline set, it was possible to counterweight the sensors errors and other factors such as the MSE for each environment to provide a summarized score of the sensors. The sensors which provided the best performance in the used metrics and tested environment were Lightware SF11-C and LeddarTech M16. View Full-Text
Keywords: crop spraying; pulverization; UAV; TOF sensors; altitude crop spraying; pulverization; UAV; TOF sensors; altitude

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Hentschke, M.; Pignaton de Freitas, E.; Hennig, C.H.; Girardi da Veiga, I.C. Evaluation of Altitude Sensors for a Crop Spraying Drone. Drones 2018, 2, 25.

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