FEU and ONCB strike a deal on opium field locator drone

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CHIANG MAI, 2 November 2014 – The Far Eastern University (FEU) and the Narcotic Crops Survey and Monitoring Institute (ONCB) today signed a deal on the development of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle for locating the remote opium field.

The rector of the FEU Kittiphat Suwannachin and the director of the ONCB Pipop Chamnivikaipong today signed the academic cooperation agreement at the FEC campus in Chiang Mai today to develop the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) to locate and monitor the narcotic crops.

The ONCB director said that the opium plantation nowadays had adapted to avoid detection from officials. Growers have been growing opium mixed among other kinds of agricultural plants.

This method of concealed growing makes it harder for officials to detect and destroy the opium, and thus increasing the supply of opium products. Therefore, the UAV will be a very important tool for officials to help locate these mixed opium fields, said the ONCB director.

The UAV is capable of taking aerial images at the height of up to 700 meters within a 5 kilometer radius. It is equipped with the emergency prevention system that will direct itself back to the operation base when its power supply runs out of energy. The production cost of one UAV is at the range of 40,000-50,000 baht.

The signing on this agreement will benefit the government agencies in controlling and fighting the narcotics in the future.