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Topographic Mapping Through Measurement of Vehicle Attitude

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

Citation:  Paper number  031008,  2003 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.15383)
Authors:   Mark L. Westphalen, Brian L. Steward, Shufeng Han
Keywords:   Precision farming, GPS, GIS, digital elevation model, inertial measurement unit

A self-propelled agricultural sprayer was equipped with four RTK DGPS receivers, and an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) to measure vehicle attitude and field elevation as the vehicle was driven across a field. Data was collected in a stop-and-go fashion at 3.05 m (10 ft) intervals, as well as in a continuous fashion at three different speed levels. Using ordinary kriging, surface grids were interpolated using only elevation measurement, as well as combinations of elevation and vehicle attitude measurements. The resulting surfaces were compared to each other to evaluate the effect of including attitude measurement on DEM (Digital Elevation Model) accuracy. At the widest row spacing, the DEMs generated with attitude measurements had lower RMSE than those DEMs generated without attitude measurements. Vehicle speed also affected DEM accuracy. Vehicle attitude measurements have the potential to improve DEM accuracy for larger swath widths in ordinary field operations.

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