MOORPARK, Calif., Sept. 14, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Mundus Group, Inc. (Pink Sheets:MNDP) subsidiary AirStar goes Green with "Aggie", the Ag UAV Drone, and Hi Tech Agricultural Micro Monitoring for Precision Farming of the Future. Increased Agricultural (Ag) crop production is linked to data collection and precision response needs data collected routinely as means of monitoring soil and vegetation health while keeping in a closer touch with the individual characters of the soil and topography. Precision farming involves both micro monitoring and intervention where uneven displacement of nutrients occurs. This methodology is relevant and made possible with the robust performance and routine autonomous flight capabilities of the AirStar Industrial Drones.
The AirStar Ag UAV operations for precision farming will provide a greener, more ecologically cautious and smaller footprint with more specific controls of farming practices with our natural resources while protecting the land, the farmers and the eco system. The 2010 Ag Drone is advanced from the first testing at the University of Illinois in 2003 with new technology providing a wider array of mission tasks including Wildfire: Pre-and Post Event Monitoring & Assessment.
The new Ag Drone "Aggie" is also designed to provide both real-time and delayed-time information to researchers for predictive purposes of Vegetation condition indices, growth, moisture, land cover and to disaster authorities to provide post-event fire, storm and flood damage assessments. The Ag Drones mission shall be to observe, measure, and document:
- Soil conditions
- Fuel loading and biomass tons / acres
- Climatology / trends of weather to supplement Weather System Analysis
- Invasive and exotics presence or absence
Such observations help predict hazards, mitigate high-risk environmental conditions, help implement post-disaster recovery operations, assist scientific understanding of post-disaster environmental recovery, and help plan for mitigation.
2003 University of Illinois Agricultural Precision Farming Data Studies Use AirStar UAV Drone
Mundus Group subsidiary, AirStar, and its proprietary, Industrial Drone Works first tested its remote controlled helicopter aerial VTOL UAV system in October 2003 with researchers at the University of Illinois in a focused feasibility and data collection study to help grow bigger and better crops and was able to identify field variance and portions of fields that could be infested with a particular weed, pest or have a nutrient missing from the soil, according to the study by Lei Tian, an associate professor of agricultural engineering.
That ability could allow researchers to create a "crop calendar" of sorts by photographing a field at various times during the growing season. "We want to pinpoint the critical timing. To generate this kind of database, you need to have something that can provide really high-resolution images to qualitatively identify the problems," Tian said. "Using the small helicopter to find the best time and place to apply fertilizer or other chemicals makes sense because it can do so quickly and accurately," said Mark Jenner, an economist with the American Farm Bureau Federation.
"The reason we have nutrients running out drain tiles and going places we don't want them is that we just don't have the (proper) data," Jenner said. "Precision agriculture is a tool that producers have that allows them to put materials where they want them and get the best use out of them. We see this as a very economical way for the ag industry to collect remote sensing data any time they want," Tian said. "It could be that a farmer would need only a tractor, a combine and a helicopter like this to do the farming."
The AirStar UAV Daisy Drone has the ability to hover in one spot for 2 hours or follow a pre-programmed set of aerial patterns. The 8-foot drone operates without being noticed while it relays live real time high definition photography and video as well as thermal imaging optics for collecting vital micro farming data for analysis. Quietly and without the disruption of a full size manned helicopter or the carbon emissions spent and at a fraction of the cost, the age of micro precision farming is here and Mundus Group is intent on bringing it closer.
Mundus is interested in the market potential for AirStar's Industrial Drone in precision farming and eco systems management and protection.
Source: See Original AirStar UAV Urbana Illinois field testing picture and Press Release article by Jim Paul, The Associated Press http://cjonline.com/stories/100903/tec_minicopter.shtml
About Mundus Group, Inc.:
The Mundus Group, Inc. (Pink Sheets:MNDP) is an advanced aerospace technology consortium providing patented Vertical Take Off and Landing (VTOL) technology for experimental aircraft and Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAV) since 1990 through its fully owned VTOL division, Roadable Aircraft International (RAI). From U.S. Navy co-developed UAVs for aerial observation and environmental testing to advanced VTOL aerospace technology for civilian and military uses, Mundus Group, Inc. is developing revolutionary products with global potential for change that offers economic protection and growth opportunities for investors. Mundus is at the cutting edge of jet turbine-ducted fan technology and fuses state of the art design engineering and a prototyping facility with computer assisted auto flight technologies, UAV VTOL Remote Controlled (RC) and composite technologies industry segments.
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