The development of autonomous unmanned aircraft systems for mosquito control

Gregory M. Williams, Yi Wang, Devi S. Suman, Isik Unlu, Randy Gaugler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


We constructed an electric multi-rotor autonomous unmanned aerial system (UAS) to perform mosquito control activities. The UAS can be equipped with any of four modules for spraying larvicides, dropping larvicide tablets, spreading larvicide granules, and ultra-low volume spraying of adulticides. The larvicide module sprayed 124 μm drops at 591 mL/min over a 14 m swath for a total application rate of 1.6 L/ha. The tablet module was able to repeatedly deliver 40-gram larvicide tablets within 1.1 m of the target site. The granular spreader covered a 6 m swath and treated 0.76 ha in 13 min at an average rate of 1.8 kg/ha. The adulticide module produced 16 μm drops with an average deposition of 2.6 drops/mm2. UAS pesticide applications were made at rates prescribed for conventional aircraft, limited only by the payload capacity and flight time. Despite those limitations, this system can deliver pesticides with much greater precision than conventional aircraft, potentially reducing pesticide use. In smaller, congested environments or in programs with limited resources, UAS may be a preferable alternative to conventional aircraft.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0235548
JournalPloS one
Issue number9 September
StatePublished - Sep 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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