According to some reports, precision agriculture has the potential to represent more than 80% of civilian drone applications in the future. San Francisco Circuits is working in the growing precision agriculture industry with a supplier and expert in this field, Michal Ruš of e-Dron.

“We believe that a low cost drone can be effective tool for precision agriculture.” said Ruš. “Our Skyhunter fixed wing configuration (under 2000 EUR) is able to map an area of 150 hectares in less than 30 minutes.”

— Michal Ruš of e-Dron

e-Dron, a Slovak startup specializing in drone commercial services, is building a rugged unmanned aircraft for agricultural applications on the framework of a Skyhunter model drone with a Pixhawk autopilot heart. The Pixhawk autopilot was developed by PX4 and 3D Robotics. As a service-based company, e-Dron is able to provide farmers with the technology they require to focus on results, rather than having the burden of purchasing drones or software.

San Francisco Circuits, a premium supplier of printed circuit board fabrication and assembly, built components for the next generation CAN motor controller used in the e-Dron UAVs.

The UAVs use 433 MHz radio modules, which provide an approximate 2km range with 2dbi whip antennas and better range with higher gain antennas, and two external GPS modules with compass (Pixhawk is switching between modules with better GPS signal). The systems wirelessly transmit data and image scans from UAV mounted cameras to the ground control software.

Further information about the fabrication of PCBs for UAV applications can be found on the San Francisco Circuits website; information about the Skyhunter UAV can be found here.