UAS swarms to restore Oregon rangelands
DroneSeed has signed a contract with The Nature Conservancy to support the replanting of native species with advanced technologies in sagebrush habitat, the company announced on 20 February.
The contract will see the use of UAS swarms to restore the rangelands affected by invasive species and re-seed native plants and endangered species, such as the sage-grouse.
The Nature Conservancy access will use swarm technology that has been designed to scale to plant and protect significant acreage while planting in precision areas.
The aircraft operate in swarms of up to five UAS and as a group service greater area faster despite of terrain. To provide precision seeding, the company uses software to aerially deploy seed vessels to targeted areas, called microsites. To service significant acreage, DroneSeed's heavy lift aircraft carry 57lb of seed vessels per UAS. These vessels improve seed survival by reducing desiccation.
DroneSeed will be aerially deploying its seed vessels and vessels developed by The Nature Conservancy and its partners.
DroneSeed is said to be the first and only company approved by the FAA to operate with swarms of up to five aircraft weighing more than 55lb.
Jay Kerby, Southeast Oregon project manager at The Nature Conservancy, said: ‘For this project, we will be mapping about 75 acres of sagebrush habitat with scattered weed patches that are inefficient to target and treat with conventional methods. We are always looking for ways to innovate, especially when it can help us increase the pace and scale of habitat restoration to benefit both nature and people.’
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