FAQ

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Frequently Asked Questions

How difficult are sprayer drones to operate?

All our sprayer drones feature incredibly intuitive software and controls for both manual operation and fully autonomous operation. That’s right! Our drones will not only fly but spray/spread completely by themselves. You simply input a field boundary and its parameters. Boundaries can be imported from shapefiles or manually created on the remote.

What products can be applied with a drone?

Both liquid and granular products. The most common liquid applications are fungicides, insecticides, foliar fertilizers, and herbicides. Granular applications include broadcast cover crops and fertilizers.

Dependent of the drone series you select, our drones can apply 0.25 – 15 gallons per acre of liquid product and 3 – 300 pounds per acre of granular product. Low volume rates (typically 2 gallons per acre) are the most common use for our drone series. Due to the prop wash designed to distribute and penetrate the product across and through the canopy, we have found very high efficiency with a wide range of products at a low volume rate.

How many acres per hour can a drone spray?

As a rule of thumb, 2 gallons per acre (GPA) is commonly labeled as the carrier volume for most aerial applied products. The max realistic efficiencies at 2 GPA is 35 acres per hour. These include landing and refill time.

At a lower GPA, the efficiencies will increase slightly, at higher GPA the efficiency will decrease.

How wide is the drone sprayer swath per pass?
Drones utilize a vortex effect created by the rotor wash to help spread out and distribute the atomized liquid across a swath that is wider than the actual drone. The swath is affected by this vortex effect along with application height, nozzle selection, spray rate and spraying speed.

The T30 max swath widths is up to 9 meters (29.5 feet) spraying at 10-13 ft. over the crop canopy.

The spread pattern of the granular spreader varies widely depending on product and drone elevation, typically ranging from 20-35 ft.

What is the weight of each sprayer drone when fully loaded?
The T30 Weighs 58 lbs. (26.3 kg.) empty and 168 lbs. (76.5 kg.) when fully loaded.
How fast can the drone fly when spraying?
During manual flight, a drone can fly up to 33 feet per second or 22.5 mph. Automated operation allows speeds up to 23 feet per second or 15.5 mph. At this speed, our drones can still follow slopes up to 30 degrees, while sensing obstacles in their flight path.

For safety and product efficiency reasons, the DJI system does not allow faster automated operation speeds.

How fast do the drone batteries charge?
The T30 features specially built batteries designed to charge extremely fast without overheating, even in hot summer conditions. This has been tested time and time again.

With the correct setup (referenced below), batteries will charge as fast or faster than the drone is able to deplete them. This means you can operate nonstop by simply swapping batteries when the drone comes back to refill.

The recommended number of batteries, chargers and generator size:

T30: 3 batteries – 1 charger – 9000-watt generator

Do sprayer drones have a camera?
Each of our drones have First Person View (FPV) cameras designed to provide the operator with a live view on the controller screen. FPV cameras support up to a 2-mile range, which is extremely useful when spot spraying weeds.

Note, FPV cameras cannot be used to map fields. We also do not recommend using sprayer drones to scout fields as smaller, less expensive drones with better cameras are better suited for that specific task.

What happens if the drone flies towards a tree, building or any other type of obstruction?
The T30 features industry leading obstacle avoidance utilizing Digital Beam Forming (DBF) radars. These radars can sense obstacles as small as 1 cm in diameter, causing the drone to either stop and alert the operator or automatically fly around the obstacle.

The T30 incorporates an upwards facing radar designed to sense obstacles in all directions.

What licensing is needed to fly a sprayer drone?
As a customer, we will provide you with tremendous resources to assist in the licensing process. Resources include free study guides and access to one of the nation’s leading drone regulations consultants and a leading drone insurance provider.

Below is a list of required licenses and certifications needed to legally operate a sprayer drone in the United States:

FAA Part 107
FAA Part 137
FAA Section 44807 Weight Exemption (not required for the T10)
Drone Registration
State Pesticide Applicators License
Liability Insurance (for commercial application)

How do I mix chemicals for the sprayer drone system?
Three ways you could mix chemical include:

  1. Mix each tank load.

This is the least efficient method but good for small plots.

  1. Mix big batches, or hot loads, in a bulk tank.

Mix enough for a full day using IBC/chemical totes (125-, 260- and 330-gallon totes).

*Need to recirculate throughout the day to keep the product in suspension.

  1. Mix batches as you go.

Keep a big tank of water, enough for the day, as well as the chemical and two 30–60-gallon, cone-bottom tanks on your trailer. Mix up batches in the cone bottom tanks while the drone is out operating.

An automatic mixing system can be used to mix product as you operate throughout the day as well.

To fill the drone, use a 10 to 20 gallon per minute electric pump. A mini-bulk pump and a 30- to 40-foot hose work well.

What size generator is needed?
The T30 charger will require 8,000+ watts (35 amps on 240 volts). We recommend a generator with at least 9,000 watts and a 50-amp, 240-volt, four prong plug. Any type of generator with a 50-amp, 240-volt plug should work.

When purchasing your generator, consider if you need additional power for your remote battery charger, pumps, and fans. When running multiple drones, you will need multiple generators or a larger commercial generator.

How do I operate a sprayer drone system?
In general, for a whole field operation, there are six steps:

  1. Make sure you have a good including generator, premixed tank with pump on site.
  2. Map your field boundaries. This can be done ahead of time creating shape files, on the remote using aerial imagery, or on-site with the drone or remote.
  3. Set your parameters for that operation (flight height, direction, speed, and application rate).
  4. Tell the drone how much to spray and set it for takeoff.
  5. The drone will fly and return to home autonomously or can be landed manually.
  6. Refill the tank as needed and replace the batteries and recharge them on-site.

The drone can be flown in manual or manual + modes for spot application.

Where can I get parts or a sprayer drone serviced?

We have a full-time drone technician on staff to repair drones and get our customers parts. If you need parts or your drone needs serviced, email Kenny@accurateagspraying.com.

Most fixes are easy to make yourself. These drones are modular, so you can simply pull the part off and put the new part on. Typically, no diagnostics or calibrations are needed. If there is something more complicated, our technician can help you through the process of fixing the issue yourself.

What are the operating and maintenance costs of a sprayer drone?
At a 2-gallon rate, expected operating and maintenance costs are about $1 an acre.

The other costs are in fuel and maintenance for the truck, trailer and generator, which typically burns about 12 to 13 gallons of fuel per day.

The drone itself does not require regular maintenance, other than rinsing out the tank and spray tips.

How much can I charge for custom application with a sprayer drone?
This will depend on the services you provide and the local market.

We recommend for large acreage jobs charging the same amount helicopters charge or even $2 more per acre. Typically, this will be around $18-20+ per acre. If it is a smaller job, we recommend charging by the hour at a rate of $400-450 per hour with the T30.

Have a Question About Our Services? Call 833-305-3607!