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Tecnología y ciencias del agua

On-line version ISSN 2007-2422


OJEDA-BUSTAMANTE, Waldo; GONZALEZ-SANCHEZ, Alberto; MAURICIO-PEREZ, Azucelli  and  FLORES-VELAZQUEZ, Jorge. Applications of unmanned aerial vehicles in hydroagricultural engineering. Tecnol. cienc. agua [online]. 2017, vol.8, n.4, pp.157-166. ISSN 2007-2422.

Remote monitoring of agricultural variables continues to be a challenge due to high costs of manual data collection at high frequency. After first placing satellites in orbit, acquisition of spatial and temporal variables of hydro-agricultural interest became easier. However, given the demand for detailed information, satellites have the disadvantage of providing discontinuous temporal information and low-resolution spectral information. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), more commonly known as drones, provide an emerging alternative for remote monitoring. Due to the advances that UAVs present for agricultural applications, it is useful to know their main characteristics and components, related work and their potential use in different hydro-agricultural applications. Emerging uses of UAVs are associated with the application of geospatial techniques and sensors to characterize spatial and temporal variability for differential application of inputs, irrigations, and to define agricultural management strategies. The studies also indicate that these vehicles are very useful for monitoring and supervision of terrestrial surface through georeferenced images of high spatial, temporal and spectral resolution at low altitude. However, there are restrictions for their adoption due to initial cost, training and software required, and regulations that are increasingly restrictive for their use.

Keywords : Agricultural monitoring; precision farming; low altitude remote sensing; irrigation infrastructure; drone; UAV uses.

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