The next time you pick up a ripe tomato or ear of corn at the farmer’s market, you might be surprised to learn the high-tech journey that helped ensure they grew healthy and pest-free. Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) are rapidly making a transition from the battlefield to the farmer’s field—helping growers oversee millions of acres throughout America and saving them big money in the process.
Commercial businesses using drones, also called unmanned aircraft systems or UAS, is skyrocketing. And new developments are making adoption easier and less expensive for a number of companies that might have otherwise bypassed this attention-grabbing technology.
As the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) begins granting permits for unmanned aircraft system (UAS) flight across a number of commercial industries, the technology is poised to join GPS-guided tractors and wireless solar-powered sensors as everyday technologies enabling farmers to be more proactive about their crop management. In fact, Bank of America Merrill Lynch estimates that over the next 10 years, UAS technology has the potential to generate $82 billion in economic activity in the agricultural industry alone.