During the visit of the Academy representatives to Antalya, from 21 to 27 November, the Turkish teachers had a series of lectures and practical demonstration of multispectral cameras and their use in agriculture. However, the most significant and unique trait of this project was the knowledge implementation in real-life conditions. The students had their first task to observe and record the terrain situation using a drone. A private company drones, not mass-produced, were used for that purpose. The specific thing about the drone was a built-in multispectral camera that recorded the whole range of visible spectrum.
The recording could be used in numerous multispectral analyses and a specially designed software was used for its decoding. In practice, the students were assigned an orchard as a recording terrain and they had to examine those plants general condition and target the ones that needed special treatment. The analysis of colour tracking provided information on plants (if the leaves had become dry, if they have enough water, if they suffer from certain disease). The data were sent to agricultural engineers who gave further instructions such as the kind and quantity of substances, herbicides or pesticides, for necessary treatment of the orchard plants. Upon receiving those instructions, aviators deployed so called agro-drones that can carry up to 25 l of liquid (the substances used for the treatment of orchard plants). The crucial step was to design a map and a drone flight plan based on the multispectral camera data that would result in treatment of targeted parts of the terrain with the use of specific quantity of necessary substances.
Such use of drones represents a novelty in our country, and in most neighbouring countries as well. This simple example shows not only the presence of the military and police use of drones in the near future, but also its use in other spheres of life (aerial photography, surveyor terrain mapping, thermal recordings, etc).
At the moment, the Academy is one of the few institutions providing basic guidelines for education of future drone pilots and for that reason this project is of great importance. It can be called a turning point in our education of this kind of aviation staff. The project Safe Drones Over Safe Environment has been lasting for two years and it has been prolonged for six months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All the students from the Academy had the right to apply for the project regardless of their grade or profile. They did a series of training courses on drones upon which they participated in construction of basic parts of drones and its safe navigation. The drone that was made up of basic parts (frame, motors, propellers, navigation system, power port module and flight controller) was upgraded with signal lights, anti-collision lights, a spotlight and a speaker. The last one was very important since birds of prey used to attack drones. The drone was supposed to have landing parachutes, but it was decided not to install them since they proved to be successful in 40% of landings.
Results, enthusiasm and engagement of the Aviation Academy high school students involved in this project are truly praiseworthy. Some new projects within Erasmus + programme have been prepared and this should be the opportunity for the students to gain more knowledge, get trained and share experience on an international level.