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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DETERMINE FACTORS IN CONTROLLING PRECISION SPRAY APPLICATION TO NURSERIES AND FRUIT TREES

Location: Application Technology Research Unit

Project Number: 3607-21620-008-16
Project Type: Specific Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Aug 14, 2008
End Date: Aug 13, 2013

Objective:
Objective 1: Investigate how droplet impact, retention, and evaporation are affected by target surface characteristics and pesticide formulation physical properties and establish a complex pesticide transfer function from fundamental research to new precision sprayer development. Objective 2: Develop computer control systems for laser-guided precision sprayers to accommodate various tree canopy characteristics.

Approach:
In cooperation with the ARS Application Technology Research Unit, Wooster, OH, perform the following: (1) determine evaporation time, spread factor and chemical residual pattern formation of droplets containing spray additives on horticultural leaves via sequential imaging under controlled conditions; (2) investigate influences of droplet size and velocity, spray formulation, and morphological surface of leaves on spray droplet impaction, retention and coverage to develop strategies for enhancing delivery to target areas; and (3) develop a precision air-assisted sprayer with multi-jet nozzles to reduce the amount of pesticides required by matching spray characteristics to specific types of nursery and fruit trees. A fast response, high resolution controller will be developed to control air velocity, spray application rate and number of jets required for each air jet nozzle. All these operations will occur as the sprayer moves past the tree, providing uniform spray coverage of the tree with minimum off-target loss beyond the tree row.

Last Modified: 4/16/2014
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