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Prediction of Aerial Spray Release from UAVs  Open Access

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Transactions of the ASABE. 61(3): 909-918. (doi: 10.13031/trans.12701) @2018
Authors:   Milton E. Teske, Daniel A. Wachspress, Harold W. Thistle
Keywords:   Aerial application, AGDISP, CHARM, Helicopter modeling, Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

Abstract. This article summarizes the ability of CHARM+AGDISP to predict the drift and deposition of sprays released from rotary wing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). This predictive capability results from merging algorithms for spray transport, as found in AGDISP (AGricultural DISPersal), with CHARM (Comprehensive Hierarchical Aeromechanics Rotorcraft Model). The resulting software tracks the release of spray droplets from nozzles on the UAV to deposition on the ground. To date, both AGDISP and CHARM, a code that provides a complete representation of the time-varying, unsteady flow field surrounding a helicopter during transient maneuvering flight near the ground, have been extensively validated. The CHARM+AGDISP software is applied to two UAVs to explore the flow field regimes that present challenges for effective UAV operations. The simulations undertaken indicate flight conditions that yield acceptable deposition levels and minimize drift; inversely, conditions are also identified that result in off-target drift that may be problematic.

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