Agronomy and Horticulture, Department of


First Advisor

Chris Proctor

Second Advisor

Greg Kruger

Date of this Version

Summer 7-27-2022


Houston, T (2022) Optimization of Nozzle, Application Height, and Speed for UASS Pesticide Applications. Theses, Dissertations, and Student Research in Agronomy and Horticulture, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Agronomy, Under the Supervision of Professor Chris Proctor and Greg Kruger. Lincoln, Nebraska: July, 2022.

Copyright © 2022 Trenton Houston


Unmanned aerial spray systems (UASS) applications have the potential to be efficient pesticide application platforms under conditions that are not accessible or fit for typical pesticide application equipment. Although this type of application is still under development in the U.S., UASS pesticide applications are common in Asia, as they have replaced backpack sprayers. There is limited literature on the optimization of UASS applications and many parameters need to be investigated to identify the best combination of application variables such as flight height, flight speed, and nozzle selection. The objectives were to identify the deposition patterns of a four rotor UASS using different application heights, speeds, and nozzles. Allowing the determination of optimum application height, speed, and nozzle combinations that provide effective deposition for the control of pests. Ultimately using this data set to create a methodology to determine effective swath width and minimum based rates based off percent coverage (deposition) and coefficient of variation (CV).

There is limited literature reporting the efficacy of common herbicides at low volumes that are currently used by UASS and the affect of the droplet size produced by different nozzles used by UASS. The results of this research expand the data for UASS applications and identify the effects of different flight speeds, heights, and nozzles on the patterns produced by a UASS. This research also identifies the droplet size distribution of different nozzles used by a UASS and the efficacy associated with low volume applications.

Advisor: Chris Proctor and Greg Kruger