Farming drones contribute a lot to your agricultural success. But for you to fully reap its benefits, you must keep on top of your drone maintenance. Proper and regular care keeps your drone in top shape, extends its lifespan and keeps its performance optimal. This article will discuss tips on keeping your drone in excellent shape and when you should have it repaired.
What are Agricultural Drones?
Farm drones are unmanned aerial vehicles that assist in agriculture operations. They have various applications ranging from crop spraying to seeding, aerial surveying and livestock monitoring. It's not so different from drones used in construction or photography. The drones are just modified to fit your farming needs.
The Benefits of Regular Drone Maintenance
Timely maintenance can do a lot for your unmanned aerial vehicle. By taking care of your drone, you are essentially ensuring its longevity and peak performance, especially if you're using it for your farm. Here are some benefits that regular maintenance can bring to your drone:
Reduced chances of accidents and crashes - Damaged drones may stop midflight and cause unwanted accidents as they fall. They might crash into properties and unsuspecting people, especially if you fly around your neighbourhood.
Saves money in the long run - Routine maintenance costs less than full-scale repairs. For instance, you may find that the screw on the gimbal is a bit loose. If left alone, the gimbal could fall to the ground mid-flight, resulting in costlier repairs. By doing regular maintenance, you can keep preventable damage from happening.
Longer Lifetime - Regular maintenance ensures that you can use your drone for as long as possible. That's because you can find potential causes of damage to your drone and remedy them right away instead of only taking action when the damage is already significant.
Increased Uptime - Drones for farming are essential to a farm's daily processes. As such, it is crucial that they can be used at any time and for as long as possible. By keeping them well maintained, you won't have to worry about your tasks getting disrupted.
Tips for Proper UAV Maintenance
Regular drone repairs and maintenance can lower the risks of accidents, reduce the risk of liability for your team, and help you save money down the road. Here's how to do it properly:
Inspect Before and After Each Flight
You should get into the habit of inspecting your drone before and after each flight. This way, you can catch any problems early on and prevent them from getting worse. Look for damage to the hull and propellers and dirty cameras or sensors.
Clean the Drone
Keep your drone hardware free of dust, dirt and debris. You can do this by not changing your camera lenses in windy conditions. Also, don't land the drone in dusty areas if possible. But if you can't avoid it, clean your drone regularly using a soft brush or a microfibre cloth.
Clean dust, dirt or mud from the hull by wiping it with a damp cloth. Use a microfibre cloth to pick up all the dirt without scratching the hull. Use plastic-safe cleaning solutions for tough stains.
Most drone cameras have protective seals and self-cleaning sensors. However, dust can become a more complicated issue for models with removable lenses. Clean the lenses using a can of compressed air or wipe them clean with a sensor swab from your local camera shop.
Replace Your Drone Propellers
Even if no damage occurs, replacing your drone's propellers after every 200 flights is a general rule of thumb. Keep track of your flights using apps that log flight data to make it easier to know when you should replace the propellers. But if you see chips or cracks on the propellers, order new ones from the manufacturer.
Repair Your Drone
Don't attempt flying a damaged drone because you risk causing accidents, especially if there are workers farming on the field. Have it repaired by the manufacturer to ensure quality service before flying again. You can also take advantage of certified retail stores or resellers for maintenance and repair.
Update the Software
Is your drone's software up-to-date? An updated drone reports any issues and supports safe flight. Doing so is also essential since drone manufacturers often provide updates to add features or address bugs. Also, your drone may not fly if the firmware isn't updated. But remember to remove the propellers on your drone before updating.
Check the Batteries
Don't neglect the importance of maintaining your drone's batteries. Keep them in excellent condition by taking note of the following:
Ensure the batteries are full before flying
Store the batteries in a cool, dry place
Don't charge the batteries right after flying since they might be too hot.
Don't set the batteries outside of the recommended charging temperature range.
Store Your Drone Properly
Proper storage ensures that your drone remains in excellent condition while it's not in use. Coupled with regular maintenance and repair, doing so lets you get the most out of your investment. So, keep your drone protected when you're not using it. Here's how you do it:
Visual Inspection - Perform a visual inspection to check for cracks or other signs of damage. Check the gimbal, rotors, propellers, and battery bay for any signs of trouble and fix them immediately.
Clean the Drone - Remove visible dirt from the surface of your drone and its internal compartments to prevent the build-up of dust and grime.
Discharge the Batteries - Remove and discharge your batteries once their power is between 40% to 65%. You can drain the batteries using your charger. Never store the battery while it's fully charged.
Store the Batteries Separately- Don't leave the batteries inside the drone when putting it in storage. Put the batteries in a fire-proof container and keep them away from direct sunlight.
Secure Moving Parts - Immobilise moving parts, such as the gimbal. Remove the propellers from the rotors and keep them off while in storage to protect them from damage.
Store the Drone in an Ideal Place - Store the drone in a place that's cool, dry and non-magnetic.
Invest in Proper Storage - Consider buying specialised storage, especially if you've invested a significant amount of money in a high-end drone.
Purchase Quality Agricultural Drones at XAG Australia
With farming drones shaping the future of agriculture, the era of labour-intensive and resource-consuming farming is coming to an end. Pursue a more sustainable model of farming using technology designed to advance agriculture in a sustainable way. At XAG Australia, we support smart agriculture by providing top-of-the-line farm drones that you can rely on.
So, why should you use farm drones? Agricultural drones increase farm productivity while circumventing the challenges of climate change on the human workforce. Better yet, using drones for applying pesticides and fertilising reduces agricultural runoff since just the right amount of chemicals will be used, which helps in reducing pollution.
We also provide drone services, such as aerial surveying, seeding, and drones for fertilizing or spraying crops. We are the world's sole and leading agriculture technology company with commercially applied products on a global scale. And if you want to know more about us, don't hesitate to get in touch. Browse our website to see more of our products and services.