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A Low-Cost Spot Laser and Camera System for Fluorescent Dye Detection of Agricultural Aircraft Pattern Collection Strings

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

Citation:  Applied Engineering in Agriculture. 34(1): 187-193 . (doi: 10.13031/aea.12454) @2018
Authors:   Randy R. Price
Keywords:   Aerial application, Collectors, Fluorescence, Lasers, Spray Deposition.

Abstract. A low-cost dye detection system was developed for pattern testing agricultural aircraft. The system uses a green laser pointer, a USB web camera outfitted with a standard rhodamine filter, and software to threshold the images. When arranged in a 90° illumination chamber, the system was able to detect spray patterns on strings that matched patterns derived from a standard WRK fluorometer system with a numerical comparison of 85% and a coefficient of variation of 17%. Visual assessment indicated an 86% match and all major peaks, valleys, and patterns were correctly indicated. A field test with the system indicated that correct airplane adjustments were possible with the system and advantages include that it is easy-to-build, composed of low-cost components, and the operator can see the string fluorescence during analysis. This system may provide an alternate dye detection system for pattern testing strings from agricultural aircraft.

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