Jan. 11, 2019
An Israeli drone on display. Photo: Zachi Evenor via Wikimedia Commons.
Israel Aerospace Industries has signed a deal with the Brazilian company Santos Lab to use Israeli drones in aid of large-scale agriculture.
In the first deal of its kind, IAI will provide drone systems and data analysis, while Santos Lab will operate the drones themselves, the Israeli business news site Globes reported.
The Bird Eye 650D drone will be used to monitor crops and commercial forestry, as well as analyze crops and soil conditions. The data will be fed into a cloud service and subjected to high precision analytics. It will become operational at the end of 2019.
IAI’s Executive Vice President Moshe Levy said of the deal, “IAI has over 40 years’ experience with UAV’s, mainly for military applications. Utilizing our systems for agricultural applications is a good example on how we look to commercialize our know-how to broaden our offering.”
“IAI offers the capability to combine military technologies with commercial applications on top of IAI’s unique ability to fly UAV’s in the civilian air space,” he added. “I welcome the collaboration with Santos Lab, which is bound to open additional opportunities for us.”
CEO Gabriel Klabin of Santos Lab stated, “The cooperation between a technological company such as IAI and Santos Lab is bringing to Brazil’s agro market a tool capable of changing the essential ways of monitoring the agricultural development.”
“This system will allow farmers to take conscious decisions on how to better manage their crops in the most efficient manner, introducing precision agriculture in a large industrial scale throughout Brazilian fields,” he noted. “The use of this technology can positively impact the whole cycle of food production and consumption, even enabling people to eat at better costs, and this is just the beginning.”
IAI believes the deal will eventually be worth hundreds of millions of dollars.