Spain is the first European country to use agricultural drones to fight COVID-19

According to Chinese drone maker DJI, Spain is the first European country to use agricultural drones to try to contain the coronavirus.

Spain has been one of the most deeply affected countries in the world by the coronavirus.

So the Spanish Military Emergency Unit is deploying agricultural drones to spray disinfectant around large outdoor areas as well as inside large vehicles.

The Spanish military is using both DJI’s AGRAS MG-1 and the DRONEHEXA XL by Spanish drone maker DroneTools. DJI’s drones make up 75% of the global drone market.

As DJI explains:

Quadcopter News Spain is the first European country to use agricultural drones to fight COVID-19 DJI’s AGRAS MG 1
DJI’s AGRAS MG-1 drone was one of two models the UME’s communications battalion successfully trialed for disinfecting operations last week. Photo: Handout

The MG-1 ‘s powerful propulsion system allows the aircraft to carry up to 10 kg liquid payloads, including pesticides and fertilizers. The combination of speed and power means that an area of 4,000-6,000 square meters can be covered in just 10 minutes, or 40 to 60 times faster than manual spraying operations.

And Seville-headquartered DroneTools describes the DRONEHEXA XL as their most versatile tool for loads of up to 3 kilograms with a range of up to 25 minutes. It says DRONEHEXA is ideal for industrial inspections, surveying, and agriculture. Here are its specs:

  • Extension to 3 – axis mount Brushless
  • Autopilot Option with telemetry modem, 50 waypoints, and Click and Go
  • RTK Option
  • Option video link
  • Option Full-HD video link
  • Option Transport
  • Option Power-Pack for two flights

DJI’s AGRAS MG-1 drone was one of two models the UME’s communications battalion successfully trialed for disinfecting large areas outdoors as well as inside big objects such as vehicles, according to a post on UME’s website last week. The other model was the DRONEHEXA XL by Spanish drone maker DroneTools.

The use of DJI’s drones in the global battle against the coronavirus pandemic could help bolster the image of the Chinese drone company, which has seen its business threatened by concerns raised by the US over the collection and security of consumer data amid a tense US-China tech war.

As the World Economic Forum (WEF) wrote on March 16, drones were used in China as a key tool for responding to COVID-19 for aerial disinfection, medical sample transport, and delivery of consumer items. Here’s what the WEF had to say about drone disinfection:

Depending on the application, drone spray can be 50 times more efficient than people spraying.

To ensure the safety of aerial disinfection operations, XAG Technology, DJI Agriculture, China Agricultural Machinery Distribution Association, China Agricultural University Research Centre for Medical Equipment and Application Technology, and other relevant agencies jointly published a series of operational guidance and technical specifications to communicate with local authorities and make sure that all efforts were conducted in a safe and scientific manner.