During March – April 2020, 4 pollination flights were made, one per week. The optimal pollination height was tested and set. To test the pollination effectiveness, glass collection slides were placed within the tree canopy, and later examined under a microscope. Flower samples were collected from the trees to test for positive pollen presence on the flower’s stigma.
The date yield was weighed and sorted by quality. The yield on the drone pollination trees was 100 kg on average, with 90% export quality (weight and quality depend on variety of parameters – dilution, irrigation, fertilization and weather).
This test proves the ability to pollinate dates using drones. “We’ll continue to test this method in order to improve efficiency and gain the most from this technology for Arava date groves while examining the economic benefits compared to tractor towed fan blowers.”
Article by sUAS News: