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DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT OF MULTI-

ROTOR DRONE FOR AGRICULTURAL


APPLICATIONS

Project ID: 17391, 17392, 17393


B.Tech. Major Project Report
submitted for fulfillment of
the requirements for the
Degree of Bachelor of Technology
Under Biju Pattnaik University of Technology

Submitted By
Anurag Harsh ROLL NO. 201610630
Pranay Kr. Bose ROLL NO. 201610608
Devadatta Bhoi ROLL NO. 201640234
Maheswar Mahakuda ROLL NO. 201610021
Rahul Kumar ROLL NO. 201610607
Kundan Raj ROLL NO. 201610639

2019 – 2020

Under the guidance of


Dr. Basant Kumar Sahu

NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY


Design and Development of Multi-rotor Drone for Agricultural Applications B.Tech. 2016-2020

Palur Hills, Berhampur, Odisha – 761008, India

National Institute of Science & Technology BPUT 2


Design and Development of Multi-rotor Drone for Agricultural Applications B.Tech. 2016-2020

ABSTRACT
One of the main sources of income in India is agriculture. Production rates of crops
depend upon natural factors like temperature, humidity, rain, etc. which are not in farmers
hand. But several factors which are affecting crops like pests, disease can be controlled by
taking measures which include spraying pesticides to the affected areas, examining the
crops and finding if affected by pests, etc. This project defines a new way by which the
physical labor of farmers is decreased and they are able to monitor their field using
different technologies. So, the main aim of this project is to design agriculture drone for
praying pesticides. Here we are going to discuss different architecture based on
unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

As we know, the use of pesticides in agriculture is very important and it will be so easy if
we use intelligent machines such as drones. This project gives the idea about the use of
drones which are used to reduce human efforts in various operations of agriculture like
detection of presence of pests, spraying of UREA, spraying of fertilizers, etc. This paper
describes the development of quad copter UAV and the spraying mechanism. We also
discuss integration of sprayer module to quadcopter system. The discussed system
involves designing a prototype which uses simple cost-effective equipment.

National Institute of Science & Technology BPUT i


Design and Development of Multi-rotor Drone for Agricultural Applications B.Tech. 2016-2020

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
I give my sincere thanks to Dr. Basant Kumar Sahu, Project Advisor for giving me the
opportunity and motivating us to complete the project within stipulated period of time and
providing a helping environment.

I give my sincere thanks to Dr. Sandipan Mallick, B.Tech. Project Coordinator, for
helping me throughout my project and encouraging me to complete this project.

I acknowledge with immense pleasure the sustained interest, encouraging attitude and
constant inspiration rendered by Prof. (Dr.) Sukant K. Mohapatra (Chairman, NIST),
Prof. Sangram Mudali (Director, NIST) & Prof. Geetika Mudali (Placement
Director, NIST), N.I.S.T. Their continued drive for better quality in everything that
happens at N.I.S.T. and selfless inspiration has always helped us to move ahead.

Anurag Harsh

Pranay Kr. Bose

Devadatta Bhoi

Maheswar Mahakuda

Rahul Kumar

Kundan Raj

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Design and Development of Multi-rotor Drone for Agricultural Applications B.Tech. 2016-2020

TABLE OF CONTENTS
ABSTRACT.........................................................................................................................i
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT...................................................................................................ii
TABLE OF CONTENTS...................................................................................................iii
LIST OF FIGURES.............................................................................................................v
LIST OF TABLES..............................................................................................................vi
1. INTRODUCTION...........................................................................................................1
2. OBJECTIVE OF THE PROJECT...................................................................................2
3. TYPES OF DRONE........................................................................................................4
3.1 Depending on the Type of Aerial Platform...............................................................4
3.2 Depending on Range..................................................................................................5
3.3 Depending on abilities...............................................................................................6
4. DESIGN OF QUADCOPTER.........................................................................................8
4.1 Principle of Quadcopter.............................................................................................8
4.2 Construction...............................................................................................................9
4.3 Quadcopter Movement Mechanism.........................................................................10
4.4 Frame Sizes..............................................................................................................11
5. CALCULATION...........................................................................................................12
5.1 Static Thrust Calculation.........................................................................................12
5.2 DC Motor.................................................................................................................13
6. SELECTION OF COMPONENTS...............................................................................16
6.1 Propeller and Motor.................................................................................................16
6.2 Battery and Flight Time...........................................................................................17
7. AGRICULTURAL DRONE..........................................................................................19
7.1 Introduction..............................................................................................................19
7.2 Uses of Agricultural Drone......................................................................................20
7.3 Components Required..............................................................................................21
8. METHODOLOGY OF AGRICULTURE DRONE......................................................25
8.1 Drone Working........................................................................................................25
8.2 How Drones Fly?.....................................................................................................26
8.3 Spraying Mechanism...............................................................................................27
9. EXPERIMENTATION AND EXPECTED RESULTS................................................29
10. CHALLENGES...........................................................................................................30

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Design and Development of Multi-rotor Drone for Agricultural Applications B.Tech. 2016-2020

11. RESEARCH TRENDS AND FUTURE INSIGHTS...................................................31


11.1 Research Trends.....................................................................................................31
11.2 Future Insights.......................................................................................................32
12. WORK COMPLETION AND RESULTS...................................................................33
12.1 Stages of work completion....................................................................................33
12.2 Results....................................................................................................................34
13. ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES..............................................................35
13.1 Advantages.............................................................................................................35
13.2 Disadvantages........................................................................................................36
14. CONCLUSION............................................................................................................37
REFERENCES..................................................................................................................38

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Design and Development of Multi-rotor Drone for Agricultural Applications B.Tech. 2016-2020

LIST OF FIGURES

Figure 1.1: Quadcopter with sprayer....................................................................................1


Figure 2.1: Drone Spraying Mechanism..............................................................................3
Figure 3.1: Police Surveillance Drone.................................................................................4
Figure 3.2: Military Drones..................................................................................................5
Figure 3.3: Left: Toy Drone; Right: Spy Drone...................................................................6
Figure 3.4: Photography Drone............................................................................................7
Figure 3.5: GPS Drone.........................................................................................................7
Figure 4.1: Quadcopters used for agriculture.......................................................................9
Figure 4.2: Orthographic view of Quadcopter.....................................................................9
Figure 4.3: Drone Spraying Mechanism............................................................................10
Figure 4.4 Frame types.......................................................................................................11
Figure 5.1 Generalized torque vs. speed curve of a DC motor with a constant applied
voltage..............................................................................................................14
Figure 5.2 Motor and propeller rotation.............................................................................15
Figure 7.1: Agricultural Drones.........................................................................................19
Figure 7.2: Drone Frame (Quadcopter)..............................................................................21
Figure 7.3: Control Board..................................................................................................21
Figure 7.4: BLDC Motor...................................................................................................22
Figure 7.5: Propellers.........................................................................................................22
Figure 7.6: Electronic Speed Controller.............................................................................23
Figure 7.7: Drone Battery with Charger.............................................................................23
Figure 7.8: Transmitter and Receiver.................................................................................23
Figure 7.9: Camera for monitoring....................................................................................24
Figure 7.10: Container for storing pesticides.....................................................................24
Figure 7.11: Sprinkler, water hoses and pump...................................................................24
Figure 8.1: Layout of Quadcopter......................................................................................26
Figure 8.2: Block diagram of quadcopter...........................................................................27
Figure 8.3: Spraying mechanism........................................................................................28
Figure 9.1: Agriculture Drone uses....................................................................................29
Figure 10.1: Agricultural Drones are very expensive........................................................30
Figure 12.1: Aluminum Frame..........................................................................................33
Figure 12.2: Carbon Fiber Quadcopter Frame...................................................................33
Figure 13.1: Smart Farming using Drones.........................................................................35

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Design and Development of Multi-rotor Drone for Agricultural Applications B.Tech. 2016-2020

LIST OF TABLES
Table 4.1: Frame sizes........................................................................................................11
Table 6.1: Ideal motor rpm from motor specifications......................................................16
Table 6.2: Ideal motor rpm from momentum theory calculations.....................................17
Table 6.3: Flight time w.r.t battery capacity and discharge rate........................................18

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Design and Development of Multi-rotor Drone for Agricultural Applications B.Tech. 2016-2020

1. INTRODUCTION
Agriculture in India constitutes more than 60% of occupation. It serves to be the
backbone of Indian economy. It is very essential to improve the productivity and
efficiency of agriculture by providing safe cultivation of the farmer. The various
operations like spraying of pesticides and sprinkling fertilizer are very important. Though
spraying of pesticides has become mandatory it also proves to be a harmful procedure for
the farmers. Farmers especially when they spray urea, take to many precautions like
wearing appropriate outfit masks and gloves. It will avoid any harmful effect on the
farmers. Avoiding the pesticides is also not completely possible as the required result has
to be met. Hence fore, use of drones in such cases gives the best of the solutions for this
type of problems, along with the required productivity and efficiency of the product.

According to survey conducted by WHO (world health organization) it is estimated that


every year about 3 million workers are affected by poisoning from pesticides from which
18000 die. This project aims to overcome the ill-effect of the pesticides on human beings
and also use to spray pesticides over large area in short intervals of time compare to
conventional spraying by using automatic fertilizer sprayer. This device is basically
combination of spraying mechanism on a quad copter frame. This model is used to spray
the pesticides content to the areas that cannot easily accessible by humans. The universal
sprayer system uses to spray liquid as well as solid contents which are done by the
universal nozzle. [1]

Figure 1.1: Quadcopter with sprayer

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Design and Development of Multi-rotor Drone for Agricultural Applications B.Tech. 2016-2020

2. OBJECTIVE OF THE PROJECT


The objective behind this project is:
1. To aware peoples about the importance of drone technology in areas of
agriculture.

This will help people to know the use of technologies based on drone and will
aware them to make the agricultural works easier. The drone technology will help
in reducing the effort given by farmers to a lower level. Lower the effort, more the
production. Even it will help farmers to safeguard them from different disease
caused while spraying pesticides, as the drone will do the same in an easier and
safer way.

2. There are several potential benefits of drones which can help farmers in different
ways. From this the farmer can know the use of drone in stages of agriculture.

These benefits include:


 Spraying taller crops.
 Spraying around power lines which are placed in between the irrigation
land.
 Spraying pesticides to the affected crops in any part of the land.
 Cost also become low as the farmer is aware of the affected area, he can
reach the area easily and can only spray pesticide to that area only. This
can stop the wastage of pesticides.

The above objective mentioned defines how the project will help the farmers in an easier
and safer way to do their agricultural works. Also, this drone is in affordable price so that
it can be bought and it can be easily operable.

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Design and Development of Multi-rotor Drone for Agricultural Applications B.Tech. 2016-2020

Figure 2.1: Drone Spraying Mechanism

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Design and Development of Multi-rotor Drone for Agricultural Applications B.Tech. 2016-2020

3. TYPES OF DRONE

3.1 Depending on the Type of Aerial Platform

The classification of drones based on how they manage to stay up in the air:
 Multi Rotor: These drones carry several motors on their bodies. They can stay in
a stable position in one spot in the air for a long time, so they are a popular choice
for aerial photography and surveillance.
 Fixed Wing: The other major drone design consists of the fixed wing model,
where the drone mimics the construction style of aero plane. These drones cannot
stay in one place, but instead glide on their set path for as long as their energy
source permits.
 Single Rotor: single rotor is used to fly the drone, while another, smaller rotor
near the tail controls the direction. Also known as RC helicopters, these drones are
more efficient than multi-rotor drones. They can fly higher, stay in one position
without spinning, and often use gas to power their bodies instead of electricity. [2]

Figure 3.1: Police Surveillance Drone

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Design and Development of Multi-rotor Drone for Agricultural Applications B.Tech. 2016-2020

3.2 Depending on Range

Range refers to how away from the user a drone is capable of flying. You can choose
from among several options for the amount of range you wish your drone to have,
including:
 Very Close Range: Toy drones usually come under this category. These drones
have a range of around 5km. They can stay in the air for 20 minutes or longer, up
to an hour.
 Close Range: These can be controlled from up to 50km away from the user. A
powerful battery allows them to stay in the air for up to 6 hours. The military uses
these drones often.
 Short Range: The drones which can be controlled from 150km away are known
as short range drones. They can stay airborne for up to 12 hours, and are another
breed of drones that are popular for the purpose of spying and surveillance.
 Mid-Range: You can control these drones from as far away as 650km! While
surveillance is a natural use for these drones, they are also a popular choice for
collection of scientific data relating to the weather, and geology of a particular
region. [2]

Figure 3.2: Military Drones

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Design and Development of Multi-rotor Drone for Agricultural Applications B.Tech. 2016-2020

Figure 3.3: Left: Toy Drone; Right: Spy Drone

3.3 Depending on abilities

A drone is so much more than a simple flying machine. It can perform a variety of tasks,
which is why different drones have been set apart from each other based on their ability to
perform a particular job, such as:
 Quadcopters: The most popular model on the market, the quadcopter uses 4
rotors positioned at the ends of a square on the drone body. This design is used to
create toy drones as well as bigger, worker drones.
 GPS Drones: These drones are linked to satellites via GPS. The drones make use
of the satellite to decide the direction of their flight, and return to the owner after
running out of battery.
 Photography Drones: These drones have a camera/video camera attached to their
body. These accessories can take HD quality snaps and videos of the world from
the drone’s perspective, and are specially built to withstand the damage done by
harsh weather to the cameras. [2]

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Design and Development of Multi-rotor Drone for Agricultural Applications B.Tech. 2016-2020

Figure 3.4: Photography Drone

Figure 3.5: GPS Drone

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Design and Development of Multi-rotor Drone for Agricultural Applications B.Tech. 2016-2020

4. DESIGN OF QUADCOPTER

4.1 Principle of Quadcopter

Quadcopter is a device with an intense mixture of Electronics, Mechanical and mainly on


the principle of Aviation. In order to maintain a plane in flight, there are four principal
forces operating on the plane for the flight. Two of these forces are generated by the
relative movement of the air compared to the plane. The first one is the lift. This force is
directed upwards and is acting perpendicular to the displacement of the plane. It is thanks
to this force that the plane is maintained in the air. The second is the drag. It is exerted in
the direction opposed to the displacement of the plane. It is due to the breaking action of
the air on the plane and is opposed to the advance of the plane.

The lift and the drag are called aerodynamic forces because they are resulting from the
action of the air due to the displacement of the airplane. The force due to gravity, the
weight of the plane, is opposed to the lift. The balance of the lift and the weight leads to
the fact that the plane is maintained at constant altitude. To ensure that the plane
continues to move forward, it is necessary to provide a force that compensates for the
force called drag. This force is called the thrust.

The thrust is generated by the system of propulsion of the planes, the engines. In the case
of the flight at cruising speed, the role of the engine is thus to compensate for the force of
drag, but not to make the plane climb. On the other hand, at the time of takeoff, the
engine power will be used to bring the plane to the altitude of flight. To keep the plane in
flight at constant altitude, a force of lift must balance the force due to gravity (weight of
the plane). On the other hand, at the time of takeoff, the engine power will be used to
bring the plane to the altitude of flight. To keep the plane in flight at constant altitude, a
force of lift must balance the force due to gravity (weight of the plane). [3]

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Design and Development of Multi-rotor Drone for Agricultural Applications B.Tech. 2016-2020

Figure 4.1: Quadcopters used for agriculture

4.2 Construction

Quadrotor consisting of a main body having four arms centrally connected to each other
and four DC brushless motor attached to each free end of arm. Quadrotor consists of four
rotor/propeller attached to each motor shaft. Four rotors with fixed angles represent fixed
pitch to generate equivalent force at each end to lift the body and payload. All DC
brushless motors are attached to electronic speed controller to control speed of each
individual motor. Four electronic speed controllers connected with each other by parallel
connection in to power distribution board. A battery is used as power source. The rotation
of propeller is controlled by remote controller (RC). [3]

Figure 4.2: Orthographic view of Quadcopter

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Design and Development of Multi-rotor Drone for Agricultural Applications B.Tech. 2016-2020

4.3 Quadcopter Movement Mechanism

Quadcopter can describe as a small vehicle with four propellers attached to rotor located
at the cross frame. This aim for fixed pitch rotors is used to control the vehicle motion.
The speeds of these four rotors are independent. By independent, pitch, roll and yaw
attitude of the vehicle can be control easily. Pitch, roll and yaw attitude off Quadcopter
are shown in Figure.

Figure 4.3: Drone Spraying Mechanism

Different types of motion:


1. Yaw Motion (ψ): Rotation around the vertical axis is called Yaw. The Rudder
controls Yaw (Left and Right).
2. Pitch Motion (ө): Rotation around the side-to-side axis is called Pitch i.e. Moving
Upside and Downside about horizontal axis. The Elevator controls the Pitch.
3. Roll Motion (Ф): Rotation around the front-to-back axis is called Roll i.e. Tilting
about the axis. The Ailerons controls Roll axis (Left and Right).
4. Take-off and landing motion mechanism: Take-off is movement of Quadcopter
that lift up from ground to hover position and landing position is versa of take-off
position. Take-off (landing) motion is control by increasing (decreasing) speed of
four rotors simultaneously which means changing the vertical motion.
5. Forward and backward motion: Forward (backward) motion is control by
increasing (decreasing) speed of rear (front)rotor. Decreasing (increasing) rear
(front) rotor speed simultaneously will affect the pitch angle of the Quadcopter.

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Design and Development of Multi-rotor Drone for Agricultural Applications B.Tech. 2016-2020

6. Left and right motion: For left and right motion, it can control by changing the
yaw angle of Quadcopter. Yaw angle can control by increasing (decreasing)
counter-clockwise rotors speed while decreasing (increasing) clockwise rotor
speed. Hovering or static position the hovering or static position of Quadcopter is
done by two pairs of rotors are rotating in clockwise and counter clockwise
respectively with same speed. By two rotors rotating in clockwise and counter-
clockwise position, the total sum of reaction torque is zero and this allowed
Quadcopter in hovering position. [3]

4.4 Frame Sizes

Table 4.1: Frame sizes

FRAME SIZE
PROP SIZE MOTOR kilovolt (kV)
(WHEELBASE)
100mm 2 inches 1102 – 1104 6000+
120mm 3 inches 1104 – 1106 4000+
150mm – 180mm 4 inches 1306 – 1408 3000+
200mm – 220mm 5 inches 2204 – 2306 2100 – 2800
235mm – 280mm 6 inches 2205 – 2308 1600 – 2500
330mm – 350mm 7–8 inches 2208 – 2212 1500 – 1600
450mm – 500mm 9-10 inches 2212 – 2216 800 – 1000

Figure 4.4 Frame types

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Design and Development of Multi-rotor Drone for Agricultural Applications B.Tech. 2016-2020

5. CALCULATION
5.1 Static Thrust Calculation

Calculations of static thrust are needed in order to ensure that the proper propellers and
motors have been selected. Static thrust is defined as the amount of thrust produced by a
propeller which is located stationary to the earth. This calculation is particularly
important for this project because quadrotor helicopters are more likely to perform at low
speeds relative to the earth. This low-speed performance ensures that the calculations of
static thrust can be applied to a wide range of flight conditions. Also, it is important to
note that the final calculations of static thrust are estimates and not actual values.

The first step in calculating static thrust is determining the power transmitted by the
motors to the propellers in terms of rpm. Aircraft-world.com has compiled empirical data
used to calculate power [1], and the formula used for their datasheet is given in Equation 1.

Power = Prop Const * rpmPowerfactor……………………… [1]

Where power is in watts and rpm is in thousands. For example, a 6X4 APC propeller has
a propeller constant of 0.015 and a power factor of 3.2. Given a rotational speed of 10,000
rpm, the calculation goes as follows: 

Power = 0.015 × 103.2 = 24 W

The next step is to determine the thrust produced by a propeller. Equation 2 gives thrust
based on the Momentum Theory.

T= π/4 D2 ρvᴡΔv……………………….[2]

Where, T=thrust [N]


D= Propeller Diameter [m]
v= velocity of air at the propeller [m/s]
Δv = velocity of air accelerated by propeller [m/s]
ρ = density of air [1.225 kg/m3]

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Design and Development of Multi-rotor Drone for Agricultural Applications B.Tech. 2016-2020

A commonly used rule is that velocity of the air at the propeller is v=½Δv of the total
change in air velocity: Therefore, and equation 3 is derived.

T=π/8 D2 ρ(Δv)2…………………….[3]

Equation 4 gives the power that is absorbed by the propeller from the motor. Equation 5
shows the result of solving equation 4 for Δv and substituting it into equation 3. In doing
so, Δv is eliminated and torque can be calculated.

P= (T Δv)/2 => Δv= 2P/T……………….[4]

T= [(π/2) D2 ρP2]1/3………………… [5]

Finally, it is advantageous to express the results of equation 5 in terms of mass. Newton’s


Law, F=ma, is used to obtain equation 6.

m= ([(π/2) D2 ρP2]1/3)/g……………….[6]
where, g= 9.81 m/s2

Solving for mass is useful for quadrotor helicopters because it can be directly related to
the mass of the aircraft. In particular, a thrust (mass) that equals the mass of the aircraft is
needed for hovering. [4]

5.2 DC Motor

An overview of DC motors and the importance of DC motor performance in relation to a


quadrotor’s ability to hover is explained here. DC brushless motors are the most
commonly used motors in RC hobbies due to availability, price, and performance.

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Design and Development of Multi-rotor Drone for Agricultural Applications B.Tech. 2016-2020

Figure 5.1 Generalized torque vs. speed curve of a DC motor with a constant applied voltage

Maximum torque can be achieved when the motor is fully braked and no torque is
experienced when the motor is at its maximum rotational speed. DC motors perform the
best when they are producing the most mechanical power. Power is the product of torque
and rotational speed which is given in Equation 7.

Power= Torque*Rotational Speed………………….[7]

In order to find the maximum power of a motor, all that is needed is to find the rotational
speed at which the maximum power occurs. It is shown in Figure 5.1 that maximum
power is achieved at a torque and rotational speed that is half of the motor’s maximum
capabilities given a constant voltage. Maximum power output is important because it is
desirable to match a motor’s best range of performance with the most common flight
situations of the aircraft. In this case, the quadrotor helicopter’s most common mode of
flight is to hover. Hovering occurs when a propeller/motor set produces thrust (mass) that
equals the weight of the aircraft. Hovering should occur at 50% of the motor’s maximum
capabilities which directly relates to the equivalent of half the battery’s voltage.

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Design and Development of Multi-rotor Drone for Agricultural Applications B.Tech. 2016-2020

Since DC motors are rated in kV (rpm/v), the rotational speed at which maximum power
is achieved is found by multiplying the motors kV by half the battery voltage and
dividing the results by 2.
rpmmaxPower= (kV*0.5*Battery_Volts) /2……………………..[8]

The resulting desired rpm occurs at 1/4th the maximum rpm of the motor at full voltage.
This desired rpm will be used in the Propeller and Motor Selection section of this report.
But before a proper propeller and motor can be selected, the mass of the aircraft must be
estimated. [4]

Figure 5.2 Motor and propeller rotation

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Design and Development of Multi-rotor Drone for Agricultural Applications B.Tech. 2016-2020

6. SELECTION OF COMPONENTS

6.1 Propeller and Motor

Now that a method for calculating static thrust, an understanding of DC motor power, and
an estimated aircraft weight has been established, the proper propellers and motors can be
determined. [5]
Table 6.1: Ideal motor rpm from motor specifications
Motor kV(rpm/v) Max Ideal
rpm rpm
2822/14 Brushless Out runner 1450 kV 1450 16095 4024

TURNIGY 2204-14T 19g Outrunner 1450 16095 4024

TURNIGY 1811 Brushless Indoor Motor 1500 kV 1500 16650 4163


TURNIGY 2730 Brushless Motor 1500 kV 1500 16650 4163
Hobby King Donkey ST2004-1550 kV Brushless 1550 17205 4301
Motor
AP19 Brushless Motor 1580 17538 4385

C2024 Micro Brushless Out runner 1600 kV (17 kg) 1600 17760 4440

The next step is to determine the ideal rpm of the propeller. Ideal rpm for a propeller is
found by combining Equations 1 and 6 and solving for rpm. Equation 9 shows the result
of this mathematical manipulation.[5]

1
 3 3
1 
 2   g 2m2
2 
rpmideal    
    D  
  …………… [9]

where,
 = Power Factor

 = Power Coefficient

D = Diameter [m]
 = Air Density [1.225 kg/m3]
m = Mass [kg]

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Design and Development of Multi-rotor Drone for Agricultural Applications B.Tech. 2016-2020

g = Gravity [9.81 m/s2]


Table 6.2: Ideal motor rpm from momentum theory calculations

6.2 Battery and Flight Time

The most commonly used type of battery in the hobby field today is Lithium Polymer
(LiPo), and this type was chosen for this project. The popularity of LiPo batteries is due
to their large capacity, light weight, and excellent discharge capabilities. The following is
general information about LiPo batteries:
 Each cell of a LiPo battery has a nominal voltage of 3.6 volts and is fully
discharged when each cell reaches 3.0 volts, and a battery usually contains 1 to 3
cells. (NB: discharging a LiPo battery below 3V/cell will make it un-chargeable.)
 Current is rated in C’s which is the maximum discharge rate of a battery. For
example, a 1C battery can handle a current that would take an hour to fully
discharge and a 2C battery is capable of being discharge in ½ an hour.
 The capacity of a battery is rated in milliamp-hours (mAh).

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Design and Development of Multi-rotor Drone for Agricultural Applications B.Tech. 2016-2020

Flight time will be analyzed to determine the appropriate battery. Flight time, which is
directly proportional to battery capacity, can be found by dividing battery capacity by the
amount of amps being drawn from the battery.[5]

Flight Time = Battery Capacity/amps…………………… [10]

According to our project,

Flight Time= 11.1 V/2.1 amp = 5.2 min

Table 6.3: Flight time w.r.t battery capacity and discharge rate

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Design and Development of Multi-rotor Drone for Agricultural Applications B.Tech. 2016-2020

7. AGRICULTURAL DRONE

7.1 Introduction

A drone is an air machine without a human pilot aboard. Agricultural farmers must
embrace revolutionary strategies for producing food, increasing productivity, and making
sustainability a priority. UAVs are part of the solution, along with closer collaboration
between governments, technology leaders, and industry. To fight the challenges such as
extreme weather conditions and rising climate change, and environ- mental impact
resulting from intensive farming practices, the demand for more food has to be met.

Modern farming based on technologies will enable growers and farmers to reduce waste
and enhance productivity ranging from the quantity of fertilizer utilized to the number of
journeys the farm vehicles have made. The farmers would be able to monitor the field
conditions from anywhere. Modern farming is highly efficient when compared with the
conventional approach. The applications could be new levers to uplift other growing or
common trends in agricultural like organic farming, family farming and enhance highly
transparent farming.[6]

Figure 7.1: Agricultural Drones

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Design and Development of Multi-rotor Drone for Agricultural Applications B.Tech. 2016-2020

7.2 Uses of Agricultural Drone

 Mapping/Surveying: Drones equipped with near infrared camera sensors allow


the drone to see the spectrum of light that plants use to absorb light for
photosynthesis. From this information, using the normalized difference vegetation
index (NDVI) farmers can understand plant health. Software analysis can be used
to change values in order to reflect the specific crop type and even in which stage
of life a specific crop is in. In addition to crop health, drones can create detailed
GPS maps of the crop field area. This allows farmers to better plan where crops
are being planted to maximize land, water, and fertilizer usage.

 Crop Dusting/Spraying: To maintain yields, crops require proper fertilization


and pesticide application. Manually driving a vehicle through the fields to spray or
crop dust by manned airplane to spray are methods of the past. Crop spraying
drones can carry large liquid storage reservoirs, can be operated more safely (even
autonomously), and can be operated and maintained at a fraction of the cost
compared to crop dusters.

 Irrigation Management: Drones equipped with thermal cameras can provide


excellent insight into irrigation by highlighting areas that have pooling water or
insufficient soil moisture. These issues can severely affect crop yields and quality.
Thermal drones give farmers a better way to understand their fields through more
frequent inspections and surveying.

 Drones with thermal imaging cameras allow a single remote pilot in command to
monitor livestock. The operator can check in on the heard to see if there are any
injured, missing, or birthing animals. Drones give livestock farmers a new way to
keep an eye on their livestock at all times, resulting greater profits. [7]

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Design and Development of Multi-rotor Drone for Agricultural Applications B.Tech. 2016-2020

7.3 Components Required

1. Quadcopter Frame: It is he drone’s base made up of a strong fiber having four


arms. Each arm consists of a BLDC motor which will help the drone to fly up. [3]

Figure 7.2: Drone Frame (Quadcopter)

2. Control Board: Electrical board that consists of a flat insulated surface which
contains switch and meters for controlling other devices of the drone.

Figure 7.3: Control Board

3. BLDC Motor: This is a high-power motor with excellent efficiency. Motors are
rated by kilovolts, and the higher the kV rating, the faster the motor spins at a
constant voltage. The purpose of motors is to spin the propellers. Brushless DC
motors provide the necessary thrust to propel the craft. We use 1000 KV motors.
Propellers We are using two types of propeller Pushers and Pullers: Pushers:
Pushers give thrust when they are rotated in clockwise direction. Pullers: Pullers
give thrust when they are rotated in anticlockwise direction. The propellers come

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Design and Development of Multi-rotor Drone for Agricultural Applications B.Tech. 2016-2020

in different diameters and pitches (tilting effect). The larger diameter and pitch is,
the more thrust the propeller can generate. It also requires more power to drive it,
but it will be able to lift more weight. When using high RPM (Revolutions per
minute) motors, the smaller or mid-sized propellers. When using low RPM
motors, the larger propellers can be used as there could be trouble with the small
ones not being able to lift the Quadcopter at low speed. [3]

Figure 7.4: BLDC Motor

4. Propellers: These generates thrust and torque that keeps the drone flying. The
upward thrust force generated by the propellers is usually measured in pounds or
grams. To keep your drone flying at a hover, the upward thrust needs to equal the
weight of your drone. The thrust to weight ratio TWR (thrust divided by weight),
indicates how much thrust your drone generates relative to its weight. 

Figure 7.5: Propellers

5. Electronic Speed Controller (ESC): The electronic speed controller controls the
speed of the motor or tells the motors how fast to spin at a given time. For a
quadcopter, 4 ESCs are needed, one connected to each motor. The ESCs are then
connected directly to the battery through either a wiring harness or power
distribution board. Electronic Speed Controller (ESC) is an electronic circuit to
vary the speed, direction and possible to act as a dynamic brake, of a brushless
Motor. The maximum current flowing in the ESC is in between the range 30-40
ampere.

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Design and Development of Multi-rotor Drone for Agricultural Applications B.Tech. 2016-2020

Figure 7.6: Electronic Speed Controller

6. Battery and Battery Charger: Battery is the power source that drives all other
systems in the drone. Battery charger helps in charging the battery.

Figure 7.7: Drone Battery with Charger

7. Transmitter and Receiver: Transmitter uses radio signals to transmit commands


wirelessly via a set radio frequency over to the radio receiver, which is connected
to drone being remotely controlled.

Figure 7.8: Transmitter and Receiver

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Design and Development of Multi-rotor Drone for Agricultural Applications B.Tech. 2016-2020

8. Camera: helps to know the crop health through visuals and can also capture
images which will help farmer to analyse crop health easily.

Figure 7.9: Camera for monitoring

9. Water Pump: This will suck pesticides from container and will transfer it to the
sprayers through the water hoses i.e. hoses are generally transparent pipes used in
transferring the pesticides from the container to the sprinkler.
10. Container: Store the pesticides in liquid form. Generally, a storage for pesticides
hanged below the drone’s base. From here the pump suck and transfer the
pesticides to the sprinkler which are placed at the end of every wings.

Figure 7.10: Container for storing pesticides

11. Sprinkler: sprinkle pesticides to the crops. Placed in the end of every wings,
below the BLDC motor. Sprinklers sprinkle the pesticides provided by the pump
from the container.

Figure 7.11: Sprinkler, water hoses and pump

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Design and Development of Multi-rotor Drone for Agricultural Applications B.Tech. 2016-2020

8. METHODOLOGY OF AGRICULTURE DRONE

8.1 Drone Working

The 4 propellers of a quadcopter are fixed and vertically orientated. Each propeller has a
variable and independent speed which allows a full range of movements. Shown below is
the different propeller combinations that facilitate different drone movements.

This is unlike conventional helicopters which are controlled by propellers with blades that
dynamically pitch around the rotor hub. The components required for blade pitch are
expensive which is one of the reasons quadcopters are becoming so common with
recreational UAV enthusiasts. [3]

The core components of a quadcopter are as follows;


 Chassis – the skeleton of the drone which all componentry is fixed to. The chassis
design is a trade-off between strength (especially when additional weight such as
cameras are attached) and additional weight, which will require longer propellers
and stronger motors to lift.
 Propellers – principally effect the load that the quadcopter can carry, the speed it
can fly, and the speed it can manoeuvre. The length can be modified; longer
propellers can achieve greater lift at a lower rpm but take longer to speed up/slow
down. Shorter propellers can change speed quicker and thus are more
manoeuvrable, however they require a higher rotational speed to achieve the same
power as longer blades. This causes excess motor strain and thus reduces motor
life span. A more aggressive pitch will allow quicker movement but reduced
hovering efficiency.
 Motors – 1 per propeller, drone motors are rated in “Kv” units which equates to
the number of revolutions per minute it can achieve when a voltage of 1 volt is
supplied to the motor with no load. A faster motor spin will give more flight
power, but requires more power from the battery resulting in a decreased flight
time.
 Electronic Speed Controller (ESC) – provides a controlled current to each motor
to produce the correct spin speed and direction.

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Design and Development of Multi-rotor Drone for Agricultural Applications B.Tech. 2016-2020

 Flight Controller – the onboard computer which interprets incoming signals sent
from the pilot and sends corresponding inputs to the ESC to control the
quadcopter.
 Radio Receiver – receives the control signals from the pilot.
 Battery – generally lithium polymer batteries are used due to high power density
and ability to recharge.

Figure 8.1: Layout of Quadcopter

8.2 How Drones Fly?

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Design and Development of Multi-rotor Drone for Agricultural Applications B.Tech. 2016-2020

A quadcopter is controlled manually with a hand-held radio control transmitter which


manually controls the propellers. Sticks on the controller allow movements in different
directions and trim buttons allow the trim to be adjusted to balance the drone. Screens can
also be used to receive live video footage from the on-board camera and to display sensor
data. Further to this, on-board sensors can provide helpful settings such as:
 Auto altitude where the quadcopter will move at a fixed altitude, and;
 GPS hold, where the quadcopter will remain at a fixed GPS position.
Quadcopters can also be flown autonomously, where modern flight controllers can use
software to mark GPS waypoints that the vehicle will fly to and land or move to a set
altitude. This kind of autonomy is becoming increasingly common and contributes to
much of the increased interest in civilian drone technologies that has been observed in
recent years. [3]

Figure 8.2: Block diagram of quadcopter

8.3 Spraying Mechanism

The spraying mechanism mainly consists of an APM board which is programmed to


perform various functions. It also contains a tank of 2000ml capacity to which a water
pump is connected. To this water pump, a splitter is connected which spits the pesticide to
the four nozzles which are connected below every motor and spraying is achieved. It also
contains a motor driver circuit to control speed of spraying and pesticide level indicator
circuit with buzzer, for detecting when the pesticide is empty. [8]

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Design and Development of Multi-rotor Drone for Agricultural Applications B.Tech. 2016-2020

The spraying mechanism performs the following functions.

Pump ON/OFF control:


It is used to turn on/off the water pump which is used to spray. This is done by sending
control signal to the motor.

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Design and Development of Multi-rotor Drone for Agricultural Applications B.Tech. 2016-2020

Spraying Speed Control:


The speed of spraying is achieved by sending a PWM signal to the motor driver IC.
Based on the t(on) time of this signal, speed of spraying can be controlled.

Tank status:
The status of the tank will be monitored using water level sensor. If the pesticide level
reaches below the threshold, say 25ml in the prototype it can be notified to operator by
sending a control signal which in return turns on the buzzer. Hence, when the buzzer is
heard by the operator, he can land the quadcopter for refilling.

Figure 8.3: Spraying mechanism

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Design and Development of Multi-rotor Drone for Agricultural Applications B.Tech. 2016-2020

9. EXPERIMENTATION AND EXPECTED RESULTS


The spraying time of pesticides is dependent on the quantity of pesticide to be sprayed.
For example, for 1000 ml of pesticides, spraying time is around 5 minutes. If we want to
increase the quantity of pesticide to be sprayed, the weight lifting capacity of the
quadcopter must be increased. This is done by choosing higher specification of BLDC i.e.
more than 1000 rpm/kV. The flight time of the quadcopter is around 8 minutes. To
increase the flight time, we need to choose higher specification for LiPO battery. The
height of spraying is around 6-7 feet. The area covered is 10 feet by 10 feet.

The Agriculture drone has the potential to improve the crops. Agriculture Drone can help
the farmers to transform the agriculture industry. Now a day’s farmers use a hand pump
for spraying pesticides. Human beings take large amount of time to spray the crops and
they don’t uniformly spray the pesticides. But by using drone we can complete the
spraying work in less amount of time as compare to human. Human being charges 100/-
to 200/- rupees per day for pesticides spraying, as compared to them drone takes 3 watt of
power then it will charge 10/- rupees only of electricity. Drone will uniformly spray the
fertilizers hence; there is no possibility of damaging crops. Drone will save the time of
spraying pesticides and also it will reduce the diseases caused by fertilizer to the human
body such as skin diseases as per the research of World Health Organization (WHO).
Hence, drone will minimize the efforts of farmers for agriculture purpose.

Figure 9.1: Agriculture Drone uses

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Design and Development of Multi-rotor Drone for Agricultural Applications B.Tech. 2016-2020

10. CHALLENGES
There are several challenges in the deployment of UAVs in precision agriculture:
 Thermal cameras have poor resolution and they are expensive. The price ranges
from $2000-$50,000 depending on the quality and functionality, and the majority
of thermal cameras have resolution of 640 pixels by 480 pixels.
 Thermal aerial images can be affected by many factors, such as the moisture in the
atmosphere, shooting distance, and other sources of emitted and reflected thermal
radiation. Therefore, calibration of aerial sensors is critical to extract scientifically
reliable surface temperatures of Objects.
 Temperature readings through aerial sensors can be affected by crop growth
stages. At the beginning of the growing season, when plants are small and sparse,
temperature measurements can be influenced by reflectance from the soil surface.
 In the event of adverse weather, such as extreme wind, rain and storms, there is a
big challenge of UAVs deployment in PA applications. In these conditions, UAVs
may fail in their missions. Therefore, small UAVs cannot operate in extreme
weather conditions and even cannot take readings during these conditions.
 One of the key challenges is the ability of lightweight UAVs to carry a high-
weight payload, which will limit the ability of UAVs to carry an integrated system
that includes multiple sensors, high-resolution and thermal cameras.
 UAVs have short battery life time, usually less than one hour. Therefore, the
power limitations of UAVs are one of the challenges of using UAVs in PA.
Another challenge, when UAVs are used to cover large areas, is that it needs to
return many times to the charging station for recharging.[9]

Figure 10.1: Agricultural Drones are very expensive

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Design and Development of Multi-rotor Drone for Agricultural Applications B.Tech. 2016-2020

11. RESEARCH TRENDS AND FUTURE INSIGHTS

11.1 Research Trends

1. Machine Learning:
The next generation of UAVs will utilize the new technologies in precision agriculture,
such as machine learning. Hummingbird is a UAV-enabled data and imagery analytics
business for precision agriculture. It utilizes machine learning to deliver actionable
insights on crop health directly to the field. The process flow begins by performing UAV
surveys on the agricultural land at critical decision-making points in the growing season.
Then, UAV images is uploaded to the cloud, before being processed with machine
learning techniques. Finally, the mobile app and web-based platform provides farmers
with actionable insights on crop health. The advantages of utilizing UAVs with machine
learning technology in precision agriculture are:
 Early detection of crop diseases
 Precision weed mapping
 Accurate yield forecasting;
 Nutrient optimization and planting
 Plant growth monitoring

2. Image Processing:
UAV-based systems can be used in PA to acquire high-resolution images for farms, crops
and rangeland. It can also be utilized as an alternative to satellite and manned aircraft
imaging system. Processing of these images is one of the most rapidly developing fields
in PA applications. The Vegetation Indices (VI) can be produced using image processing
techniques for the prediction of the agricultural crop yield, agricultural analysis, crop and
weed management and in diseases detection. Moreover, the Vis can be used to create
vigor maps of the specific-site and for vegetative covers evaluation using spectral
measurements. [3]

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Design and Development of Multi-rotor Drone for Agricultural Applications B.Tech. 2016-2020

11.2 Future Insights

1. With relaxed flight regulations and improvement in image processing, geo-


referencing, mosaicking, and classification algorithms, UAV can provide a great
potential for soil and crop monitoring.
2. The next generation of UAV sensors, such as 3p sensor, can provide on-board
image processing and in-field analytic capabilities, which can give farmers instant
insights in the field, without the need for cellular connectivity and cloud
connection.
3. More precision agricultural researches are required towards designing and
implementing special types of cameras and sensors on- board UAVs, which have
the ability of remote crop monitoring and detection of soil and other agricultural
characteristics in real time scenarios.
4. UAVs can be used for obtaining high-resolution images for plants to study plant
diseases and traits using image processing techniques. [3]

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Design and Development of Multi-rotor Drone for Agricultural Applications B.Tech. 2016-2020

12. WORK COMPLETION AND RESULTS

12.1 Stages of work completion

1. Firstly, we tried this concept on a plastic moulded frame and it was not able to
sustain the payload for a given flight of time. The main disadvantage of using a
plastic moulded frame was that, there was vibration as it got in air and showed bad
results. Thus, we tried to fix this but we are not able to find correct solution. So,
we dropped this idea of using plastic moulded frame.
2. Secondly, we replaced the plastic frame with aluminium frame for the better
results. As we manually designed the frame, we were not able to get the exact
dimensions which resulted in no flight of the drone. There was no chance to fly a
drone with this frame also.

Figure 12.1: Aluminum Frame

3. Lastly, we came to the conclusion that we should try with the fibre frame and it
gave good results in the form of flying and as well as handling.

Figure 12.2: Carbon Fiber Quadcopter Frame

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Design and Development of Multi-rotor Drone for Agricultural Applications B.Tech. 2016-2020

12.2 Results Analysis

After the completion of the project, the result analysis is classified into two types.
 Structural analysis
 Internal analysis
This analysis is done under this experiment which can be described by the hardware
structure and internal structure.
 Structural Analysis
The overall structure of this multirotor drone revolves around this flow diagram
which describes these points as follows:
 Controller board: The board takes input supply from the battery and thus,
it is capable of giving supply to ESC’S , motors etc.
 ESC’S- The speed controllers are therefore, the second component in the
chain between the controller board and motors. It is supported on the arm
of drone by its cover in order to control the motor’s speed.
 BLDC Motor- The motors are mounted over the arms of drone for the
rotation of propellers.
 Battery- This behaves as the supply of the whole system for the operation
to occur.
 Multirotor frame- The fibre frame thus becomes the overall base of these
components to work and to operate in feasible region.

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Design and Development of Multi-rotor Drone for Agricultural Applications B.Tech. 2016-2020

 Internal Analysis
The internal analysis of the drone gives the idea about the operation which will
take place in the circuit of the system which is as follows:
 The transmitter and the receiver of the drone will operate as to give the
signal and start the operation.
 The battery therefore connected will allow the supply to flow for the whole
circuit and begin this operation for the flight.
 Thirdly, the controller board takes the supply and after that it proceeds to
the further operation.
 Fourthly, the control board shows the information of armed signal which
tells that it is ready for the flight.
 Before arming the system, the supply is therefore supplied to all esc’s
which are mounted on the arms of the drone.
 Lastly, the motors which are mounted on the end of the arms are ready to
absorb the supply and rotate the propellers in order to give a downward
force for the flight of the drone.
 Thus, by this internal analysis, one can know the circuit behaviour and try
to observe more points related to the rating and specifications of
components used under this system.

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Design and Development of Multi-rotor Drone for Agricultural Applications B.Tech. 2016-2020

OVERALL RESULT
At the end of this project, we expected the results much more from plastic frame but in
fact we were not able to gather everything using this frame. So, when we tried with the
fibre frame, we were able to get good results in flight time, payload handling and ease of
access using remote controller. This happened because the fibre frame properties were
best suited for the agriculture drone purpose. Thus, if we manage to bring same
characteristics in other frames then one can get the same results which will be similar to
that of using fibre frame.

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Design and Development of Multi-rotor Drone for Agricultural Applications B.Tech. 2016-2020

13. ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES

13.1 Advantages

1. It helps in achieving more yields by using resources effectively.


2. Drones are used in large scale farming for spraying of insecticides and pesticides
due to its remote-control operation from distant.
3. It helps in monitoring environmental data which helps in smart farming.
4. It helps farmers in scouting their fields quickly and efficiently.
5. Latest agriculture drones help in collecting data which helps in improving crop
health.
6. It helps farmers in mapping in order to boost yields and in cutting costs to take
business forward.
7. Thermal cameras help in finding wet and dry patches. This helps farmers avoid
wastage of water.

Figure 13.1: Smart Farming using Drones

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Design and Development of Multi-rotor Drone for Agricultural Applications B.Tech. 2016-2020

13.2 Disadvantages

1. It requires basic knowledge and skills to operate the agriculture drones.


2. Most of the drones have less flight time and covers less area. Drones having long
flight time and long range are costlier. Drones having more features are also more
expensive.
3. Need to obtain government clearance in order to use it.
4. It uses same air space as commercial aircrafts and hence may interfere with
manned aircrafts if it comes in their flight path.
5. It is difficult to fly them in extreme conditions.

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Design and Development of Multi-rotor Drone for Agricultural Applications B.Tech. 2016-2020

14. CONCLUSION
Information technologies provide new possibilities for a lot of problems. Agricultural
drones are an incredible technology advanced in just a few years. Drones are crucial to
farmers because they will no longer have to walk around their farms surveying soils,
crops and buildings. Farmers, now, have the best surveillance and inspection technology
for their farms. It’s true to say that farming has become technically advanced for
commercial farmers who have enormous chunks of land.

Perhaps, one day these drones will become fully automated and provide farmers with
accurate data on the amount of pesticides, fungicides or fertilizers to apply on specific
areas or crops after a surveillance. It shall be a new dawn for farmers. On the flip side,
drones have their shortfalls. For example, drones are not completely safe, raise privacy
concerns and may put countries in serious security risks. Hence, information technology
experts have their work cut out in ensuring that the next generation of agricultural drones
addresses these issues. Security measures must be prioritized because extremist groups or
other people who want to cause harm to the general public may take advantage of the
drones. Generally, anything that threatens to derail the adoption and the advancement of
agricultural drones should be addressed.

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REFERENCES
[1] S. R. Kurkute, B. D. Deore, P. Kasar, M. Bhamare, M. Sahane, “Drones for Smart
Agriculture: A Technical Report”, IJRASET, vol.6, April 2018.
[2] S. Nappaphol, K. Assadarat, F. Doudo, K.Shigeru, “Distinguishing Drone Types
Based on Acoustic Wave by IoT Device”, ICSEC, Nov. 2018.
[3] P.Parihar, P.Bhawsar, P.Hargod, “Design & Development Analysis of
Quadcopter”, COMPUSOFT , vol. V, issue-VI, Jun.2016
[4] E.L. Peponakis, A.G. Paspatis, R. D. Oikonomidis, G. Α. Barzegkar-Ntovom,
K.E. Bampouras” A Simple Low-Cost Setup for Thrust and Energy Efficiency
Calculation for Small Brushless DC Motors”, ECESCON, vol9, pp.85-89.
[5] D.Krishna, Dr. Jayaraman,C. Satheesh, K. Sunil “Selection of BLDC Motor and
Propeller for Autonomous Amphibious Unmanned Aerial Vehicle” IRJET, vol.04
issue-04, pg.3345-3348, Apr.2017
[6] P.A. Avinash, “Agricultural drone interaction tank interface”, IJARIIT, Vol.5,
issue.3, pg. 1776.
[7] P. Tripicchio, M. Satler, G. Dabisias, E. Ruffaldi, C.A. Avizzano, “Towards smart
farming and sustainable agriculture with drones”, IEEE, pp. 140-143, Jul, 2015.
[8] D. Yallappa, M. Veerangouda, M. Devanand, P. Vijayakumar, M. Bheemanna,
“Development and evaluation of drone mounted sprayer for pesticide applications
to crops”, IEEE, Dec, 2017.
[9] L. Karim, A. Anpalagan, N. Nasser and J. Almhana, “Sensor-based M2M
Agriculture Monitoring Systems for Developing Countries: State and
Challenges”. Network Protocols & Algorithms, vol.5, issue-3, pp.78-79, Oct-
2013.

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