Pest management and research with drones
Our team worked with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) on a pilot project to provide innovative solutions for pest detection research. Traditionally, drones have been used in precision agriculture for monitoring and pesticide spraying.
The CFIA is researching the silver flies (Leucopis Piniperda and L. Argenticollis), which are predators of the Hemlock Wooly Adelgid (HWA). The research entailed setting yellow sticky traps onto trees to assess infestation. The traditional method of using a pole to set the traps limited the researcher to the rod’s height (15 feet; 4.5 meters).
We used the DJI Matrice 200 drone to tow and set the yellow sticky traps at heights that were unreachable (10+ meters) with the pole method. Our team created and tested a solution that would allow us to set and retrieve the traps after a couple of weeks. Our professional UAV field team was able to set the traps within minutes.
Furthermore, we used the Zenmuse Z30 camera to inspect and document the infestation. The 30x optical zoom capabilities allowed us to keep a safe distance from the trees while identifying and documenting the infestation on a macro level.