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Development of an Airboat for Weed Survey and Aquatic Herbicide Application Using DGPS and Flow Control System

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

Citation:  Paper number  031068,  2003 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.13972) @2003
Authors:   Edivaldo D. Velini, Daniel A.S. Marcondes, Ulisses R. Antuniassi, Dagoberto Martins, Andre L. Mustafa
Keywords:   airboat, spraying equipment, herbicides, aquatic weeds, flow control, DGPS

Fluridone and 2,4-D are the only two herbicides registered in Brazil for application on aquatic weeds while glyphosate, diquat and imazapyr are being registered for this purpose. Herbicide application on aquatic areas present characteristics that justify efforts on the improvement of application techniques: high cost weed control programs, high environmental risk, large and irregular surfaces covered by weeds and difficulties on keeping constant volume rates due to variation on speed. A weed survey and aquatic herbicide application system was set up on an airboat with the following characteristics: a 4.88 m x 2.44 m welded aluminum hull, a 350 HP V8 engine and a 1,98 m propeller. The spraying equipment was based on a diaphragm pump; a 4 HP four-stroke engine, a 190 L tank and an aluminum spray boom divided in 2 sections. A DGPS navigation system with spray flow control was used to provide the following features: constant spray volume applications (automatic corrections in function of variation on forward speed), lightbar for parallel swath guidance and mapping software. The DGPS guidance is a key feature for herbicide application on aquatic areas due to the large variability of surfaces and the lack of land references for the operator. As a management tool, the mapping system is very useful for location and measurement of infested areas. Also, the ability to provide as applied maps will be very important for the analysis of environmental risk on aquatic herbicide applications. Field test results showed that the systems presented adequate performance for both constant volume application and DGPSbased mapping.

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