Modern businesses are making intelligent business decisions thanks to the Industrial IoT and its push towards increased connectivity. In precision agriculture, new technology has the potential to be a game changer for crop management, enabling more visibility over crops and intelligent decision making that directly impacts food output. However, according to a recent article from CropLife magazine, while farmers are leveraging automation, the precision agriculture industry as a whole is relatively new in comparison to the traditional agriculture industry, and so is the adoption of IT technology.
The exciting news is that farmers are increasingly turning towards automation to streamline operations. As automation and connectivity are adopted for precision agriculture, there is an emerging market for drones that is ripe with possibility. A recent article focusing on drones in agriculture reports, “With precision agriculture, farmers can now rest assured that they are making crucial decisions correctly and intelligently – made easy through drone analytics.” Drone manufacturers are actively working to make technology that they believe will change the game for precision agriculture. They aim to improve food production and more efficiently distribute pesticides and water. Drones may also aid in disease management for the diseases that rapidly spread through crops. With the use of cameras, drones are also able to offer farmers real-time visibility into the health of their crops.
With the rise of drones in the commercial and industrial sectors we see a lot of opportunity for drone manufacturers, technology providers and farmers alike. What we also see as a key to success in all these areas is technology that performs with consistency and reliability. In the case of drones, without secure and reliable command and control (C2) links, drone performance will suffer, and as a result so will the important data that farmers will find essential to making intelligent decisions.
Command and Control Links
There are technologies available that have proven to unfailingly support critical drone operations. In fact, after decades of serving mission-critical applications in government and defense, the same C2 capabilities of advanced wireless data communications have begun to migrate into the commercial and industrial drone markets. Today, there are a number of secure wireless data communications solutions available that enable reliable C2 links and have been trusted by the government and defense industry for years.
Additionally, there are solution providers that offer multiple frequencies for C2 links offering unmanned systems manufacturers a portfolio of options to deploy. In addition to frequency options, when the appropriate security measures and encryption capabilities are in place, C2 links can be better protected to thwart malicious attacks on unmanned systems. For the precision agriculture industry this means less downtime and reliable drones for operations that are critical to the health of the crop.
Drones and other modern IT technologies are disrupting the precision agriculture industry, but there is substantial potential for a big impact on the farming industry as a whole. As drones are developed to carry out these applications in precision agriculture is especially important to ensure they are being created with the C2 links that will support modern connectivity needs.