Unmanned aerial systems in agriculture. Part 1, Systems
Khot, Lav R.
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A vehicle is classified as an unmanned aerial system (UAS) when there is no person on board to guide controls, or decide direction or speed of the vehicle. UAS are equipped with onboard flight and navigation controls to be piloted remotely or through Global Positioning System (GPS) waypoints in autopilot mode. In general, the shape and size of the system governs classification of UAS into four different types (explained below). Proposed regulations from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) classify a UAS with gross weight of less than 55 lbs (25 kg) as a small UAS (sUAS). Most of the newer sUAS are controlled from ground stations using remote control, multi-channel bidirectional communication systems, which generally use a frequency of 2.4 GHz in the United States. Most systems also have autopilot and auto land capability. From an application standpoint, sUAS, which are the focus of this fact sheet, are integrated with sensing modules on board that appear to have a wide range of applications in agricultural production management when combined with soil, weather, and relevant crop growth information.