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Performance of a Flow Control System for Aquatic Herbicide Application Using an Airboat Sprayer

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  031153,  2003 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.13750) @2003
Authors:   Ulisses R. Antuniassi, Edivaldo D. Velini, Wellington P.A. Carvalho, Robson I. Tanaka
Keywords:   airboat, spraying equipment, herbicides, aquatic weeds, flow control, DGPS

The aim of this work was to evaluate a flow control system for applying aquatic herbicides using a sprayer airboat. A Satloc AirStar 99.5 equipped with flow control was set up with lightbar for parallel swath guidance, 12-channel GPS receiver, L-Band satellite differential and a 20 Mb PCMCIA memory card. The flow control unit was based on a CPU linked to a flow meter and an electric driven valve; both designed for low flow rates (typically below 20 L min-1). The spraying system was based on 190 L tank, a single head diaphragm pump, a 4.0 HP four stroke engine, a 4-section spray boom controlled by electrical valves and a pressure relief valve. A CR10X (Campbell Scientific) linked to a pressure sensor was used for data collection on laboratory and field tests. Static tests on the flow control system were performed using DGPS signal simulation software (Simfly 4.4). Results at field conditions showed that the DGPS was accurate for measuring speeds from 7 to 27 km h-1, with errors below 1%. Laboratory tests showed that the flow control time response for step changes in speed was 8 seconds in average and the mean absolute error on volume rate was 1%. The performance of the flow control system on field tests was considered adequate for the purpose of this airboat sprayer.

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