As the agricultural industry continues to evolve, manufacturers are looking for new solutions to increase their yields while also limiting their impact on the environment and conserving resources. The use of agricultural drones is one of the ways they are doing this to care for and protect their crops.
Unmanned aerial vehicles used in al operations (more commonly known as drones) are the newest trend of smart farming to collect data that farmers can use to support their work.
There are several types of drones on the market that are used for different commercial and industrial applications. Drones that survey and spray for precision agriculture, search, and rescue operations, take aerial photography, map infrastructure and utility inspections such as roads, power lines, pipelines and railways with drones that deliver goods.
As drones are used more, the components that are part of them need to ensure a good high level of reliability, safety, durability, and robustness.
An Indian manufacturer of commercial robotic drones & drone-based solutions was struggling to find a qualified high-power connector for the power supply module of a new UAV to be used for precision spraying of pesticides for agriculture and livestock. The Customer normally produces drones for crop protection, crop health, crop monitoring and precision farming using Artificial Intelligence.
In this specific case the drones’ final use is to spray on fields a range of agrochemical, fertilizers, and speciality nutrients. The drones can operate in multiple modes and can collide crops and plants while in operation so all parts must be rugged to ensure reliable performance.
The connectivity solution Smiths Interconnect was asked to provide was the main connector which connects the drone with its battery for power supply and the required performance was to withstand at least with 25 minutes flight time and a coverage of up to six acres per battery charge with artificial intelligence-assisted navigation.
Renowned in the connectivity market for its high reliability and rugged solutions for demanding applications, Smiths Interconnect was able to provide the customer with a modular connector with some specific technical characteristics. The choice was a special float mount, rack & panel, UL qualified modular solution with mixed signal and power contacts.
Based on Smiths Interconnect’s patented Hypertac® hyperboloid technology, this compact connector offers a flexible and reliable design and the use of premium material; however, it wasn’t just the superior contact technology and the rugged materials that secured the contract.
The customer was impressed with the technical team’s collaborative approach to customizing the solution and the ability to quickly obtain components to qualify the new drones by the deadline.
Once again Smiths Interconnect’s products didn’t disappoint expectations: the challenge combined with the enthusiasm to provide an interconnect solution for an application that had never been explored, resulted in the development of a dependable and satisfactory connector for the new drone battery pack. Additionally, the customer gained an important competitive advantage through a reliable and durable interconnect solution that can guarantee stability and maximum power charge throughout the spraying time.