Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) in Agriculture: A Pursuit of Sustainability
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AuthorAhmad, Ali; Ordóñez García, Bonifacio Javier; Cartujo Cassinello, Pedro; Martos Núñez, María Vanesa
DronePrecision agricultureRemote sensingUAVPlant growthCrop monitoringVegetation indexAgriculture 4.0Sustainable agriculture
Ahmad, A.; Ordoñez, J.; Cartujo, P.; Martos, V. Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) in Agriculture: APursuit of Sustainability. Agronomy 2021, 11, 7. [https://dx.doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11010007]
The current COVID-19 global pandemic has amplified the pressure on the agriculture sector, inciting the need for sustainable agriculture more than ever. Thus, in this review, a sustainable perspective of the use of remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) or drone technology in the agriculture sector is discussed. Similarly, the types of cameras (multispectral, thermal, and visible), sensors, software, and platforms frequently deployed for ensuring precision agriculture for crop monitoring, disease detection, or even yield estimation are briefly discoursed. In this regard, vegetation indices (VIs) embrace an imperative prominence as they provide vital information for crop monitoring and decision-making, thus a summary of most commonly used VIs is also furnished and serves as a guide while planning to collect specific crop data. Furthermore, the establishment of significant applications of RPAs in livestock, forestry, crop monitoring, disease surveillance, irrigation, soil analysis, fertilization, crop harvest, weed management, mechanical pollination, crop insurance and tree plantation are cited in the light of currently available literature in this domain. RPA technology efficiency, cost and limitations are also considered based on the previous studies that may help to devise policies, technology adoption, investment, and research activities in this sphere.