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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Related Topics

Research Project: Evaluation and System Improvements to a Variable-Rate Aerial Application System

Location: Crop Production Systems Research Unit

2011 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
Evaluate and present improvements to a hydraulically operated variable-rate aerial application system used to apply liquid crop production materials.


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
The Autocal II aerial flow controller allows target flow to be maintained regardless of ground speed. An expanded use of this controller is to provide variable flow to meet the needs of site-specific application. To accomplish this, the SATLOC M3 guidance system with global positioning communicates with the flow controller to signal when an application boundary has been reached via a programmed prescription map. System tests are required to determine accuracy of application at specified field boundaries and to investigate response time to changing flow requirements. Field testing will indicate needed changes to control algorithms, and the manufacturer will modify the control programs to improve controller response and accuracy of application.


3.Progress Report

Tracking of liquid flow by both manual and automatic operation of the flow controller has been verified with several tests of the system regulating flow under actual spray runs. Responses to changing flow have been noted for further refinement of the controller. ADODR used site visit, email and telephone conferences to monitor activities of the project.


Last Modified: 4/19/2014
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