Humans’ unlikely ally in the fight to rebuild our planet? That is bound to be drones.
The team at Dronecoria wants to give us a hand at planting trees by putting drones on the job. They believe reforestation is key to fighting climate change and the process should be sped up. While planting one or two trees is still better than nothing, planting seed after seed seems more efficient.
Which is exactly what Dronecoria’s extremely light drones do. The drone sowers are made from laser-cut wood and are open-source, working on ArduPilot. Each seed is planted carefully, after analyzing the soil, and without wasting time. Dronecoria says that the drones can cover 1 ha in 10 minutes, carrying up to half million seeds per flight.
Simultaneosly, the team is working on a worldwide map that would guide volunteers like seed providers, drone makers and land owners in the reforestation process. By reducing the cost, Dronecoria thinks this solution will appeal to authorities in cases of natural calamities, as well: “We want to reduce the cost of reforestation, so that they can be carried out immediately after a forest fire or an environmental accident.”
At the end of last year, the team was contracted to help with the restoration of the Sierra María-Los Vélez Natural Park in Almeria. Their mission? To reforest 4 hectares with 100.000 seeds.
“We will use the heavy lift hexacopter that we developed to sow 2 kg of coated seeds of Pinus Nigra, with GPS precision in the specific microsites that we previously detected from the aerial images. From previous experiments, we expect a minimum survival of 5 to 10%. With 50.000 seeds by kilogram, in 2 kg we will have up to 100.000 seeds, with the estimated % of survival we will have between 5000 and 10.000 new trees.”, the organization notes on their blog.
The aerial seeding will take place this month and the final results will be seen in winter, when the final count of the surviving seeds will take place.