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An Open-Sourced Web Application for Aerial Applicators to Avoid Spray Drift Caused by Temperature Inversion

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

Citation:  Applied Engineering in Agriculture. 37(1): 77-84. (doi: 10.13031/aea.13841) @2021
Authors:   Yanbo Huang, D. K. Fisher
Keywords:   Open-source hardware, Open-source software, Spray drift, Temperature inversion, Web application.

Highlights

A web application for guiding data calculated from distributed weather data through open-source cloud service.

A design scheme of portable weather stations built from inexpensive open-source electronics.

Integration of open-source hardware and software for online guiding data to avoid drift caused by temperature inversion.

Abstract. It is important for agricultural chemical applicators to follow proper spray procedures to prevent susceptible crops, animals, people, or other living organisms from being injured far downwind. Spraying during stable atmospheric conditions should be avoided to prevent surface-temperature inversion-induced off-target drift of crop protection materials. Previous statistical analysis determined times of high likelihood of stable atmospheric conditions, which are unfavorable for spraying, during the day under clear and cloudy conditions in hot summer months in the Mississippi Delta. Results validated the thresholds of temperature increase in the morning and temperature drop in the afternoon with wind speeds and the transition between stable and unstable atmospheric conditions. With this information, an algorithm was developed to calculate if atmospheric conditions were favorable for spraying based on field temperature and wind speed at any instant. With this algorithm, a web application was built to provide real-time determination of atmospheric stability and hourly online recommendation of whether aerial applications were appropriate for a location and time in the Mississippi Delta. This study further developed another web application specifically for Stoneville, Mississippi, with data measured from weather stations constructed from inexpensive open-source electronics, accessories, and software for more accurate online guidance for site-specific drift management. The web application is adapted for accessing on mobile terminals, such as smartphones and tablets, and provides timely guidance for aerial applicators and producers to avoid spray drift and air quality issues long distances downwind in the area.

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