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Open AccessArticle

Effect of Application Height and Ground Speed on Spray Pattern and Droplet Spectra from Remotely Piloted Aerial Application Systems

1
USDA-ARS, Aerial Application Technology Research Unit, College Station, TX 77845, USA
2
Department of Biological Systems Engineering, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE 68583, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Drones 2019, 3(4), 83; https://doi.org/10.3390/drones3040083
Received: 30 September 2019 / Revised: 22 November 2019 / Accepted: 24 November 2019 / Published: 4 December 2019
The objectives of this study were to characterize the effects of operational factors on spray application parameters for remotely piloted aerial application systems (RPAAS). The effects of application height and ground speed on spray pattern uniformity and droplet spectra characteristics were investigated for two RPAAS (DJI model MG-1 and HSE V6A) delivery vehicles equipped with original equipment manufacturer (OEM) nozzles. A spray mixture of tap water and fluorescent dye was applied at three different application heights in conjunction with four different ground speeds over the center line of a cotton string, suspended 1 m above ground. Fluorometric assessment of spray deposits on cotton strings and spray droplets captured on water-sensitive paper samplers described spray pattern and droplet spectra, respectively. Effective swath was determined based on the widest spray swath with a coefficient of variation (CV) ≤ 25%. Regardless of ground speed, application heights of 2 and 3 m yielded the largest effective swath for the MG-1. Neither application height nor ground speed significantly influenced effective swath for the V6A. These test results may provide guidance to remote aerial applicators as to the best application height and ground speed to use for their RPAAS for efficacious application of pest control products. View Full-Text
Keywords: remotely piloted aerial application systems; spray deposition; droplet spectra; effective swath; spray pattern uniformity remotely piloted aerial application systems; spray deposition; droplet spectra; effective swath; spray pattern uniformity
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Martin, D.E.; Woldt, W.E.; Latheef, M.A. Effect of Application Height and Ground Speed on Spray Pattern and Droplet Spectra from Remotely Piloted Aerial Application Systems. Drones 2019, 3, 83.

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