DJI Announces Agras MG-1 Agricultural Drone – Video
Chinese drone powerhouse DJI has announced they are offering the Agras MG-1, an agricultural drone in the octocopter configuration designed for application of liquid pesticides, fertilizers and herbicides.
DJI claims the propulsion system enables the MG-1 to carry up to 10kg of liquid payloads, including pesticide and fertilizer. The combination of speed and power means that an area of 4,000-6,000 m² can be covered in just 10 minutes, or 40 to 60 times faster than manual spraying operations. The intelligent spraying system automatically adjusts its spray according to the flying speed so that an even spray is always applied. This way, the amount of pesticide or fertilizer is precisely regulated to avoid pollution and economize operations.
Equipment used in plant protection operations is susceptible to dust and corrosion, leading to high cost of maintenance and shortened lifespans. To counteract degradation, the MG-1 is designed with a sealed body and an efficient, integrated centrifugal cooling system. As it flies, the surrounding air enters the aircraft body via the front inlet, equipped with a triple filter system that keeps dust and particulate matter from entering. The air then passes through each of the aircraft’s arms to the motors, capturing heat from all components and the entire structure before exiting and dissipating the heat to the surrounding air. The combination of cooling and filtering increases the expected lifespan of each motor by up to three times.
Spray nozzles can be chosen according to the properties of each liquid to optimize atomization, energy efficiency and the amount of liquid sprayed. The included ceramic nozzle is resistant to wear and can be used for thousands of hours of effective spraying without degradation. In total, the MG-1 has four nozzles, each placed directly below a motor. The downward airflow generated by the propellers accelerates the spray, increasing its reach.
The advanced flight controller integrated with the aircraft instantly and precisely responds to the pilot’s input. Choose between three flight modes: Smart mode, Assisted mode and Manual mode, according to terrain and the specific needs of each mission.
Under Smart mode, the flight can be easily planned with the press of a few buttons, without the need for mapping knowledge or other software, making the MG-1 not only the most efficient but also the most easy to use spraying solution. In Assisted mode, the aircraft performs the same turns at the press of a button as it does automatically under the Smart mode, allowing for planning to be done on the fly for fields of irregular shape. Under Manual mode, the pilot freely navigates the aircraft.
By integrating a microwave radar together with the MG-1's intelligent flight control system, the aircraft is able to scan the below terrain in real-time, and adjust to keep a constant, centimeter accurate, height above crops. Spray density is maintained even as the terrain rises and drops, so that the optimal amount of liquid is applied at all times.