DRONE HOPPER – Extinguishing Wildfires, Spraying Crops
DRONE HOPPER’s mission is to design, manufacture, and operate semi-autonomous drones capable of extinguishing wildfires and supporting agricultural operations. These fire-fighting drones can release up to 300 litres of water precisely (thanks to EGNOS) onto a fire from just a few metres above the terrain. The release method is one of the main innovations: It is based on a patented technology that uses air from the engines to produce a jet of water mist capable of removing oxygen from the combustion reaction, which puts out the fire using very small quantities of water. This very efficient operation enables DRONE HOPPER to outperform conventional platforms that carry larger quantities of water. In agricultural operations, the drones meet virtually every possible need, ranging from focused pest control and precision fertilisation to extensive spraying and pest prevention. In addition, the precise delivery of substances helps avoid the contamination of neighbouring crops and keeps the amounts used to a minimum. Agricultural operations will start in Q4 2016, while the drones’ fire-fighting debut is planned for Q4 2017.