By Gary O’Neill, Senior Aerospace and Defense Specialist, Georgia Center of Innovation for Aerospace
For the second year in a row, several groups of experts in UAS technology and methods gathered in Moultrie, Georgia for the Sunbelt Agricultural Expo on Oct. 20-22. The Center of Innovation for Aerospace and the Center of Innovation for Agribusiness continued their partnership with the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) Atlanta Chapter, Georgia Tech, the University of Georgia and Middle Georgia State University to show examples of what the technology can do for precision agriculture.
More importantly, these partners came to hear from the farmers to gather ideas for solutions to challenges that have so far flown under the radar as agriculture begins to embrace big data.
The state’s newest public university and only university with a 4-year aviation program, Middle Georgia State University had a steady stream of interested farmers and agribusiness personnel. There was a great chance to learn more about the challenges faced by farmers as they work to improve yields and bring high quality goods to market. Representatives from the school were able to describe its emerging UAS operator program to current farmers and interested students from the Young Farmers Association.
Center of Innovation client company Thrush Aircraft was also in attendance, exhibiting alongside other precision agriculture and technology companies. In 2013, the Centers helped Thrush land a partnership with General Electric to develop the first crop duster with the H-80 engine. Their 510G plane was on full display as farmers stopped in to learn of its capabilities.
In addition, the team did a lot of outreach and recruiting for the new Coastal Plain chapter of AUVSI, which is being formed with a specific focus on agriculture. If you are curious about precision agriculture and the potential for unmanned systems, both ground and air in this domain, you can find out more by contacting the Coastal Plain Chapter at [email protected].
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