GPS Navigated and Automatically Controlled Orchard Sprayer with Environmentally Dependent Application System (EDAS) to Implement Drift Reducing Application Strategies
AbstractWithin the EU project ISAFRUIT (www.isafruit.org) a Crop Adapted Application System (CASA) was developed to ensure precise, efficient and safe spray application in orchards, according to actual needs of the crop and with respect to the environment. The CASA system consists of three sub-systems: (i) Crop Health Sensor (CHS) identifying heath status of fruit crops, (ii) Crop Identification System (CIS) identifying the tree canopy size and density, (iii) Environmentally Dependent Application System (EDAS) identifying environmental circumstances during spray applications. In order to protect sensitive areas within the orchards surroundings (e.g. surface water, melioration wells, public sites) the spray application parameters such as droplet size and air flow velocity need to be carefully adjusted taking into account wind direction and velocity as well as position of sprayer in relation to these areas. On EDAS sprayer wind velocity and direction is measured with an ultrasonic anemometer, and sprayer position is determined by GPS. Nozzles are altered automatically depending on wind situation to adjust droplet size according to drift risk level. A novel fan construction allows the supporting airflow to the left and right hand sections of the sprayer to be adjusted independently. This adjustment is done automatically depending on the wind situation and sprayer position.
Technology and Management to Increase the Efficiency in Sustainable Ag. Systems