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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Wooster, Ohio » Application Technology Research » Research » Research Project #436938

Research Project: Improving Sensor Detection Accuracy for Greenhouse Intelligent Sprayer Development

Location: Application Technology Research

Project Number: 5082-21620-001-018-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2019
End Date: Aug 31, 2024

The overall objective of this research is to develop an intelligent variable-rate and target-oriented spray system implementing laser scanning technology for greenhouse applications. The specific objective of this project is to investigate methods to increase spray output control accuracy by improving plant detection accuracy with an inexpensive, in-door use laser scanning sensor.

An experimental greenhouse intelligent spray system will be improved with a modified spray control unit. The spray system will be attached to greenhouse watering booms as a retrofit. The modified control unit will include an inexpensive, in-door use laser scanning sensor to replace the outdoor laser sensor that have been adopted for field intelligent sprayer systems. The sensor will be installed above the middle of the watering boom to detect the presence and canopy structure of plants to be treated with chemical or bio pesticides. The position and angle of the laser scanning sensor on the water boom will be determined to achieve maximal detection ranges with an acceptable plant detection resolution at different travel speeds. A specially-designed algorithm will be developed for acquisition of data collected from the new laser-sensor and reconstruction of three-dimensional images for the detected plants. The object structure information will be collected through continuously scanning the object from its leading edge to the trailing edge. The accuracy of the laser scanning sensor combined with a specially-designed plant surface mapping algorithm will be evaluated for their ability to detect complex-shaped object surfaces and sizes.