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Unmanned Systems & Drones

Drones plant trees from the air

A British start-up wants to use drones to find the best locations for trees, plant the seeds, and then cultivate the plants.

23 Nov. 2017
Source: BioCarbon Engineering
Source: BioCarbon Engineering

BioCarbon Engineering‘s drones will first create a three-dimensional map of an area. In doing so, they record important factors such as the level of biodiversity. Based on this data, a computer determines the ideal places to plant trees and passes the coordinates on to a second group of drones.

They transport the seeds, which are packed into special capsules, to these places and shoot them into the ground from a height of about one to two meters. The seeds in these seed pods are enveloped by a nutrient gel to promote sprouting and growth. Later, the drones can observe the further development of the plants and, if necessary, drop additional capsules with nutrient gel.

According to a report by Australian ABC News, the drones can carry up to 150 seed capsules and fire off one capsule per second. Mapping 140 hectares of land takes less than an hour. According to Biocarbon Engineering, drone-supported tree planting is particularly suitable for the reforestation of large and hard-to-reach areas.