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ARS Home » Plains Area » Lubbock, Texas » Cropping Systems Research Laboratory » Cotton Production and Processing Research » Research » Research Project #443560

Research Project: Survey of Cotton Contamination at the Gin Stand Feeder Apron in Multiple Commercial Cotton Gins

Location: Cotton Production and Processing Research

Project Number: 3096-21410-009-015-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jan 1, 2023
End Date: Dec 31, 2023

The global objective of the proposed research is to assess the best method for detecting plastic contamination at the gin-stand feeder apron and in the field. The specific objectives are to: 1. Continue to work on the VISN nodes system to add enhancements from the feedback received in the 2021 commercial trials of the prototype testing. With the focus to enhance a commercial gin’s ability to utilize the VISN system to help to actively reduce their level of plastic contamination. This will require extending the capabilities of the VISN nodes to auto-calibrate as well as to automatically detect when gin-personnel interfere with the cameras during cleaning operations so as to be able to exclude these images from the auto-calibration system. 2. Explore potential value added features that will help drive adoption by adding features that have potential for a more immediate return on investment, ROI, to the gin.

Objective 1) During practical use of the VISN systems, in consultation with the commercial cooperators, several key operational improvements have been identified that have the potential to enhance the impact that the VISN system could have on the gin’s day-to-day management of plastic contamination and hopefully help them reduce their plastic-contamination footprint while minimizing labor required by gin personnel to deploy and utilize the system. The improvements that will be explored and developed during this research phase are: - Ginner’s Hand-Intrusion Detection monitoring system, to automatically remove false positive images of ginner’s hands and arms, that show up as false plastic-events, that occur during cleaning operations (hereafter known as Hand-Intrusion-Detection, “HID”). This feature is significant as it will enable high accuracy reporting of contamination events without incurring high labor costs associated with manual evaluation of images to weed out false positive images. Thereby significantly reducing the number of images required to parse for the semi-automated machine-vision calibration adjustment tasks. And is a critical enabling component of the auto-calibration system. -Auto-calibration System is being developed to eliminate the need for computer adjustment and tuning operations. This will enable non-skilled gin personnel to utilize the VISN/PIDES technology more effectively. It will also enhance the accuracy of detection as the proposed method is anticipated to be able to rapidly adjust to current cotton conditions without requiring a fresh calibration to be created. As the current semi-automated process requires a skilled technician to perform the operation, this development will also significantly reduce the amount of labor involved for deploying and utilizing either the VISN or PIDES systems. -VISN/PIDES Plastic Contamination Real-Time Monitoring System: Web site based plastic monitoring event software that will incorporate both plastic events as well as value added statistical graphs to provide immediate feedback to the ginners and gin managers as to their improvements in managing plastic contamination. Being web based provides several key additional benefits such as: -observation by gin managers and gin board members as to current status, and history, of plastic contamination in the gin. -Text and email alerts as to periods experiencing high levels of plastic contamination.