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ARS Home » Plains Area » College Station, Texas » Southern Plains Agricultural Research Center » Aerial Application Technology Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #317928

Research Project: Aerial Application Technology for Sustainable Crop Production

Location: Aerial Application Technology Research

Title: Evaluating effective swath width and droplet distribution of aerial spraying systems on M-18B and Thrush 510G airplanes

Author
item ZHANG, DONGYAN - Beijing University Of Agriculture
item CHEN, LIPING - Beijing University Of Agriculture
item ZHANG, RUIRUI - Beijing University Of Agriculture
item XU, GANG - Beijing University Of Agriculture
item LAN, YUBIN - South China Agricultural University
item Hoffmann, Wesley
item WANG, XIU - Beijing University Of Agriculture
item XU, MIN - Beijing University Of Agriculture

Submitted to: International Journal of Agricultural and Biological Engineering
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/20/2015
Publication Date: 4/30/2015
Citation: Zhang, D., Chen, L., Zhang, R., Xu, G., Lan, Y., Hoffmann, W.C., Wang, X., Xu, M. 2015. Evaluating effective swath width and droplet distribution of aerial spraying systems on M-18B and Thrush 510G airplanes. International Journal of Agricultural and Biological Engineering. 8(2):21-30.

Interpretive Summary: Aerial spraying plays an important role in promoting agricultural production and protecting the biological environment due to its flexibility, high effectiveness, and large operational area per unit of time. In order to evaluate the performance parameters of the spraying systems on two fixed wing airplanes, M-18B and Thrush 510G, the effective swath width and uniformity of droplet deposition under headwind flights were tested at two spray height. The tests found that variability in droplet size across the spray swath was variable with variability increasing with wind speed and spray height. These results will help users setup their aircraft to increase uniformity of their spray patterns and make more effective applications.

Technical Abstract: Aerial spraying plays an important role in promoting agricultural production and protecting the biological environment due to its flexibility, high effectiveness, and large operational area per unit of time. In order to evaluate the performance parameters of the spraying systems on two fixed wing airplanes M-18B and Thrush 510G, the effective swath width and uniformity of droplet deposition under headwind flight were tested while the planes operated at the altitudes of 5 m and 4 m. The results showed that although wind velocities varied from 0.9 m/s to 4.6 m/s, and the directions of the atomizer switched upward and downward in eight flights, the effective swath widths were kept approximately at 27 m and 15 m for the M-18B and Thrush 510G, respectively, and the latter was more stable. In addition, through analyzing the coefficients of variation (CVs) of droplet distribution, it was found that the CVs of the M-18B were 39.57%, 33.54%, 47.95%, and 59.04% at wind velocities of 0.9, 1.1, 1.4 and 4.6 m/s, respectively, gradually enhancing with the increasing of wind speed; the CVs of Thrush 510G were 79.12%, 46.19%, 14.90%, and 48.69% at wind velocities of 1.3, 2.3, 3.0 and 3.4 m/s, respectively, which displayed the irregularity maybe due to change of instantaneous wind direction. Moreover, in terms of the CVs and features of droplet distribution uniformity for both airplanes in the spray swath, choosing smaller CV (20%-45%) as the standard of estimation, it was found that the Thrush 510G had a better uniform droplet distribution than the M-18B. The results provide a research foundation for promoting the development of aerial spraying in China.