Heavy-Lift VTOL Crop-Spraying UAV to be Developed

Published: 25 Mar 2019

Cormorant UAV

ADAMA Ltd., a global crop protection company, has announced that it has partnered with aerospace company Tactical Robotics Ltd. to perform a joint feasibility study for a high-payload unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for high-capacity aerial agricultural spraying.

Tactical Robotics has developed the Cormorant, a multi-role, compact, high payload, unmanned Vertical-Take-Off-and-Landing (VTOL) aircraft with unique capabilities. The Cormorant can carry an effective payload of more than 500 KG (up to 764 KG including fuel), it does not require an airstrip and can be transported by truck. The Cormorant is a versatile UAV platform capable of preforming multiple tasks, ranging from logistics and cargo services to fire-fighting and aerial spraying.

As part of the collaboration, ADAMA and Tactical Robotics will work together to develop the Ag-Cormorant, a new solution for aerial spraying. ADAMA’s expertise and know-how of the Ag industry alongside its farmer-centric approach will guide the development direction and define the Ag-Cormorant capabilities.

The Ag-Cormorant’s unmanned operation and unique design promote a new standard of safety in aerial spraying. It eliminates the risks of pilot injuries and exposed rotor accidents. With a relatively low acoustic signature and 24/7 flying capabilities, it will significantly increase the available window for application. The Ag-Cormorant’s ability to adjust flight height and speed according to the mission in combination with unique aerodynamic properties enables better canopy penetration, drift reduction and variable rate application capabilities.

Dani Harari, SVP Strategy & Resources at ADAMA, said, “We are excited to partner with Tactical Robotics to develop new and innovative solutions for aerial spraying. We believe that the Ag-Cormorant represents a new and improved method for aerial application and see the future potential of leveraging ADAMA’s crop protection portfolio in combination with its unique capabilities. We aim to continue providing these and other valuable services and products to enable farmers to optimize yields and help them grow.”

Rafi Yoeli, CEO, Tactical Robotics, Ltd., said, “When ADAMA approached us with their insights about the potential for Cormorant to answer some of the most pressing needs in the Ag sector we were extremely impressed by the ADAMA’s forward thinking and innovative spirit. Cormorant’s unique capabilities offer solutions to challenges in a variety of sectors and ADAMA’s participation and vision are an important contribution to a valuable application for our Cormorant UAV.”

Watch a video of an initial flight test of the proposed system below:

Posted by Mike Ball Mike is our resident technical editor here at Unmanned Systems Technology. Combining his passions for teaching, advanced engineering and all things unmanned, Mike keeps a watchful eye over everything related to the unmanned technical sector. With over 10 years’ experience in the unmanned field and a degree in engineering, Mike’s been heading up our technical team here for the last 8 years.