DJI MG-1S Review | DJI First Agriculture Drone Reviewed

Here’s the detailed review of DJI MG-1S. Check it out! 

Drones have revolutionized a lot of the work spaces. They provide a very unique vantage point and bring unique features to the table that we haven’t seen before.

Most people know drones for being able to take stellar shots and videos but that’s just where the applications begin. Drones are used in rescue operations as they are smaller and can be flown into places where it would be dangerous to send a human or a helicopter. 

And now another application of drones is rising in the form of farming. Farming usually requires a sizable number of workers and hours to spray fertilizer and insecticides over the entire area of the farm.

With a drone that can fly 6 hectares per hour and provide uniform delivery of pesticides, fertilizers and insecticides, this job becomes a lot easier. According to DJI themselves it becomes 40 to 60 times faster than traditional methods. 

The drone can cover 4000 to 6000 m2 in just 10 minutes. I cannot even imagine the amount of manpower it would require to do the same job in 10 minutes.  

DJI is a renowned drone manufacturer and most, if not all, of the drones they have built are received very well in the niche. So, let’s put this drone to the test and see if it manages to hold up DJI’s name in the agriculture sector as well.

DJI MG-1S Review 

DJI MG-1S: Design and Spec Table

The DJI MG-1S is an Octacopter. Meaning it has 8 propellers which are responsible for lifting it up and carrying it around. The reason 8 propellers are necessary is because this drone weighs around 10 times than an average camera drone and it needs to carry the liquid for spraying which can weigh around 10 liters itself. Hence higher throttle and power are required.  Moving onto the specs.

AIRCRAFT FRAME

 Diagonal Wheelbase: 1520 mm
 Frame Arm Length:             625 mm
 Dimensions: MG-1S: 1471×1471×482 mm (arms unfolded, without propellers) 
 780×780×482 mm (arms folded)

 

FLIGHT PARAMETERS

 Total Weight (without battery): 8.8 kg
 Standard Takeoff Weight: 22.5 kg (MG-1P)
 24.5 kg (MG-1P RTK)
 Max Takeoff Weight: 24.8 kg (at sea level)
 Max Thrust-to-Weight Ratio: 1.81 (with 23.8 kg takeoff weight)
 Power Battery: Designated DJI Battery (MG-12000)
 Max Power Consumption: 6400 W
 Hovering Power Consumption: 3250 W (with 23.7 kg takeoff weight)
 Hovering Time*: 22 min(@12000 mAh & 13.8 kg takeoff weight)
10 min(@12000 mAh & 23.8 kg takeoff weight)
*Hovering time acquired at sea level, with wind speeds lower than 3m/s.
 Max Operating Speed: 7 m/s
 Max Flying Speed: 12 m/s(P & F mode, with GPS),
 15 m/s (A mode)
 Max Service Ceiling Above Sea Level: 2000 m
 Recommended Operating Temperature: 0 to 40°C

 

AIRCRAFT RTK

 Positioning System: GPS+GLONASS (global) or GPS+Beidou (Asia-Pacific)
 Frequency Point: GPS L1&L2, GLONASS F1&F2
 Asia-Pacific: GPS L1&L2, Beidou B1&B2
 Positioning Accuracy: Flat Surface: 1 cm + 1 ppm
 Height: 2 cm + 1 ppm
 Orientation Accuracy: (0.2/R) °R is the distance between two antennas and the unit is meter.
 Velocity Measurement Accuracy:     0.03 m/s

 

REMOTE CONTROLLER CHARGER

 Model: A14-057N1A
 Voltage: 17.4 V
 Rated Power: 57 W

 

BATTERY

 Battery Model: MG-12000P
 Voltage: 44.4 V
 Discharge Rate: 20 ℃
 Protection Rating: IP54
 Capacity: 12,000 mAh
 Weight: 4.0 kg

 

 

SPRAY SYSTEM

 Liquid Tank:
 Volume: 10 L
 Standard Operating Payload: 10 kg
 Max Battery Size: 151×195×70 mm
 Nozzel: 
 Model: XR11001VS (0.379 L/min)
 Recommend Model: TX-VK8 (0.525L/min)
 Quantity: 4
 Droplet Size (XR11001VS): 130 – 250 μm (subject to working environment and spraying speed)

 

REMOTE CONTROLLER

 Model: DLG60A
 Operating Frequency: 2.400 GHz to 2.483 GHz
 Max Transmission Range:1 km (unobstructed, free of interference)
 EIRP: ≤20 dBm
Charging Temperature Range: 5 to 40°C
 Output Power: 7W
 Operating Temperature Range: -10 to 40°C
 Storage Temperature Range: If storing < 3 months: -20 to 45°C
 If storing > 3 months: 22 to 28°C

DJI MG-1S: Key Features

Being a drone, it has to have some key features. It’s already established that it brings a much higher value compared to people in return for a larger upfront investment than traditional workers. Plus, the drone will just pay for itself over time. Here are some of the key features and advantages I think you should take note of before purchasing this for agricultural work.

Much Higher Efficiency

The efficiency when it comes to machinery is generally much higher as compared to traditional men working a farm. The drone has an intelligent system built in which automatically adjusts the amount of fluid being exhausted according to the flying speed.

This makes sure that no matter what speed the drone is flying at the spray of payload will be uniform and accurate. The MG-1s has the ability to carry 10kg payload, i.e, 10 kg worth of insecticides, pesticides and fertilizers at once and deliver them accurately without any waste. 

This, in terms of efficiency, is a game changer. Farmers need to be trained, taught and managed. Whereas, this requires just one setup and it can do job on its own. It is already established that it can cover 40 to 60 times more land than a person working the field, which means around 40000 to 60000 m2 of land can be covered efficiently.  

Accurate Spraying

The MG-1S has radar and microwave technology. This can be used to avoid obstacles but more importantly, it is used to keep the drone at a constant height above the crops, even if the ground is not completely flat. The accuracy, according to DJI, is within a centimeter, which is mind blowing! 

The drone flies up and over if the land begins to rise and similarly descends as the land begins to fall. 


That’s not the only thing though. The drone doesn’t just release the liquid on top of the crops, it sprays them. The nozzles for liquid release are right under the propeller, hence they use the downward thrust of the propeller to go straight down and spread evenly throughout the crops.

The downward winds the drone generates is quite powerful to begin with. Using it to spray into the crops surely gets it everywhere it needs to be. 

Reliability and Longevity

This is a point of concern for farming agencies, as to whether agriculture drones are worth the investment. The drones are rated by DJI to last a long time. And the actual build quality from my experience does reflect that too. 

The reason why longevity is an important concern as the investment in the drone can only be reaped back after some time of use, and if the drone doesn’t hold up then it’s not really a good investment.

More time needs to be taken to actually know for sure if the drones are perfectly suited for longer durations of time. But one thing about DJI drones is that they are repairable. DJI is literally the biggest drone manufacturer. So, If the drone malfunctions, it probably can be fixed.

Not that malfunctioning is a good thing to begin with but it’s not the end all be all for the drone. The reliability is actually quite high, these drones perform amazingly, there isn’t a single moment where it felt like the drones were not accommodated to handle a situation.

Ease of Use and Remote Controller

Drones need to be operated and set up and that might not be the easiest thing for farmers but DJI thought of this too. You can of course manually fly the drone and spray it, if you want, but the more exciting and preferred feature is autopilot mode.

As I stated before, the drone has the capability to fly around without hitting obstacles due to radar. It also has microwave radar to maintain a desired height above the crop field. And lastly, it also increases or decreases fluid exhaustion rate based on speed.

The only thing left is to give the drone direction and the DJI app allows you to do that. Using GPS, you can select waypoints on the field and the drone will automatically fly from one-way point to the next. Without any need of external input. You do need to use a phone to set it up and I would recommend looking over the drone as it does its work.

Much to my surprise the autopilot is actually better than doing it manually every day. The autopilot just takes the randomness factor out of it and makes work easier, faster and more consistent.

The last thing I want to touch on is the actual design of the controller and drone. The controller mimics a standard DJI phantom 4 controller, however it has a separate panel on it for spray control. The drone itself also can be folded into a very small size. 

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