January 9, 2019 / 7:57 AM / a year ago

Israel Aerospace, Santos Lab partner on drones for agriculture

TEL AVIV, Jan 9 (Reuters) - Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) will collaborate with Brazil’s Santos Lab Comercio E Industria Aerospacial on the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and analytics for large-scale precision agriculture.

Under the agreement, state-owned IAI will provide the UAV systems and analyse collected data. Santos Lab will operate IAI’s BirdEye 650D UAV, which will be used to generate reports on large farming areas.

The agreement is expected to generate hundreds of millions of dollars in the coming decade, IAI said in a statement.

The service is expected to begin at the end of 2019 and missions will include monitoring crops such as soy and sugar cane as well as commercial forestry.

Reports will include analysis of crops and soil conditions.

Moshe Levy, general manager of IAI’s military aircraft group, said the company has over 40 years of experience with UAVs, mainly for military applications.

“Utilising our systems for agricultural applications is a good example of how we look to commercialise our know-how to broaden our offering,” he said. (Reporting by Tova Cohen; editing by Jason Neely)

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