Graduation assignments Various topics

2015-06 Master's assignment: unmanned aircraft for use in agriculture

Business Plan development for a Remotely Piloted Aircraft System For Agriculture

AgriDrone 3.jpgBackground Information

Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS are rapidly gaining interest in the agricultural sector. These remotely or autonomously controlled systems are already widely used for military operations. Further developments based on emerging technologies for agricultural applications are promising. The applications for such 100 kg pay load capacity drones are:

  • Sowing, seeding
  • Micro nutrients granulates dispersing
  • Spraying with biological (neem, tabacco) insecticides;
  • Sample taking of foliage
  • Harvesting by plucking
  • Herds guidance
  • Herds protection and rescue

The advantages for the agricultural sector using RPAS speak for themselves

  • High precision of any application can be combined with other field points in routing
  • No obstacles over the air (crossing waterways, bad roads, wet fields)
  • No large landing area required
  • Highly Compact craft 2 by 3 meters
  • Easily transportable by trailer
  • Full remote control and completely planned routing
  • Zero ground pressure or compaction
  • High maneuverability in flight as compared to spray helicopters
  • No pollution, can be driven by solar energy
  • High redundancy in control systems and safety systems
  • Relatively low cost compared to helicopters and autogyro’s

It is therefore important to address the business needs in the sector and subsectors and market potential of the RPAS. Other important issues that will impact the Market are the legal aspects related to airspace, airworthiness and operations of RPAS specific for the sector.


The proposed assignment is to:

  • Perform a market study: which market segments could there be for agro-RPAS, what are the needs of those market segments, and what kind of RPAS could fulfil these needs?
  • Assess the existing business plan outlines, with a list of conclusions and recommendations;
  • Discuss the recommendations with the CEO and develop new outlines for a more detailed version of the business plan;
  • Fill in the new version of the business plan with the data of the market study, geographical costing structure of components, market potentials and expected shares.

The business plan will be developed and validated as result of all info: market studies and analyses, drone costing, manufacturing, sales, etc.. If possible this might include innovative/smart business plan techniques or wider analyses tools like eg Strategic Niche Management (Geels, Schot, 2007). Inspiration on the search can also start with Wim de Ridder s publication, de ontdekking van de toekomst) The business plan should therefore be State of the Art.  

 The guidance for the study will be by the director of the company, and the financial manager. 


Duration: 4-9 months
Location: Voorthuizen
Internship level: MSc Business Administration Aeron.Eng.
Start date: ASAP


Ir. Winfried Rijssenbeek
Drone4Agro BV,
T. +31 653172983

AgriDrone HD1.jpg