Submitted to: Transactions of the ASAE
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 1, 2007
Publication Date: April 12, 2007
Citation: Kirk, I.W. 2007. Measurement and prediction of atomization parameters from fixed-wing aircraft spray nozzles. Transactions of the ASABE. 50:693-703. Interpretive Summary: Many new pesticide product labels specify a spray droplet size that must be used for applying the product. These specifications are prescribed to either minimize spray drift or maximize effectiveness of the product. Spray nozzle size and orientation, spray pressure, and aircraft speed are the primary operational factors that influence droplet size. Computer spreadsheet models were developed that permit aerial applicators to input their operational factors and estimate spray droplet size. These convenient models provide a means for aerial operators of fixed-wing aircraft to comply with pesticide product labels and control spray drift.
Technical Abstract: Pesticide applicators should be knowledgeable about droplet spectra classification and compliance with crop protection product labels. Some pesticide product labels specify application with a certain droplet spectra classification and labels for many new and reregistered products are expected to require application within a specified range of the spray droplet spectrum (e.g., Medium or Coarse). Applicators of pesticides will need to know how to achieve the specified droplet spectra classification with their application. Spray nozzle parameters, pressure, and airspeed are primary factors that influence droplet spectra classification from aerial spray nozzles. Computer spreadsheet models for spray nozzles commonly used on fixed-wing aircraft were developed that will permit applicators to select their spray nozzle, input operational conditions for an application, and predict the expected droplet spectra classification. Atomization models are presented for eleven commonly used spray nozzles on fixed-wing aircraft. These models provide a tool that applicators can use to mitigate spray drift and ensure compliance with crop protection product label requirements for applying sprays with a specific droplet spectra classification.