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Laboratory and Field Tests of Ultrasonic Sensors for Precision Sprayers

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

Citation:  2010 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, June 20 - June 23, 2010  1008801.(doi:10.13031/2013.29728)
Authors:   Hong Young Jeon, Heping Zhu, Richard C Derksen, H Erdal Ozkan, Charles R Krause
Keywords:   Keywords Variable rate, Nursery sprayer, Real-time sensor, Sensor testing

Reliable function of sensors under rough field conditions is required for the development of variable-rate sprayers to deliver pest control agents to tree liners in ornamental nurseries. Two ultrasonic sensors were examined to identify how their durability and detection stability would be influenced by the changes in temperature, wind, dust, travel speed and spray cloud. One of the sensors did not perform satisfactorily under these conditions. The other had a 0.1% variation in root mean square error (RMSE) of the detecting distance before and after exposing to cold weather conditions. Mean RMSE was 8 % under dusty conditions, 1.51.8 % under windy conditions, and 12.3 % to 23 % for the travel speed ranging from 0.8 to 3.0 m/s. It also showed that increasing ambient temperature from 16.7 to 41.6 C reduced the detection distance by 4.0 %. Detecting through spray cloud caused the RMSE to vary from 1.2 to 61.4 %, the largest measurement error among the six variables tested. To reduce the RMSE, optimal configurations between the sensor and spray nozzles were identified. In addition, synchronized multiple-sensor strategies were examined for improving the measurement stability and accuracy of the sensor while detecting targets.

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