An Automated Smart Sprayer for Spot-Application of Agrochemicals

Authors: Zaman, Q., T. Esau, Y. Chang, A. Schumann, A. Farooque
Description: Wild blueberry producers apply uniform blanket applications of agrochemicals without considering the significant variability in bare soil and weed coverage. The development of a commercial smart sprayer for the wild blueberry industry is essential to minimize input costs, improve crop yield while reducing environmental pollution. The developed smart sprayer system was installed on a 12.2 m wide boom three point hitch mounted sprayer attached to a John Deere 6430 tractor. The modified MS sprayer featured an 1135 L storage capacity and 16 spray sections. Solenoid valves were connected directly to the sprayer nozzle bodies for rapid response and low drip lag. Each nozzle covered a 0.97 m wide section of the sprayer boom. The machine vision system incorporated eight digital color cameras installed ahead of the sprayer nozzles (each camera covering two sections) on the self-leveling boom. The cameras were connected via USB cables to a computer where custom image processing software analyzed each image. Triggering signals were sent in real-time to the individual solenoids to open the specific nozzle where the target was detected. Wild blueberry fields were selected in central Nova Scotia to evaluate the smart sprayer system. Water sensitive papers were used to quantify targeting performance at select points in the field. The smart sprayer was setup to apply a spot-application of herbicide to weed targets within the field and fungicide applications to only wild blueberry plant areas within the field. The sprayer had the ability to save substantial amounts of herbicides and fungicides in commercial fields with variable weed pressures and bare spot areas.
Keywords: image processing, digital color camera, GPS, weed detection, real-time, plant detection
Technical field: Machinery Systems Engineering
Conference name: CSBE/SCGAB 2015 Annual Conference, Edmonton, AB, 5-8 July 2015.
Session name: Biosystem Management VII - Environmental and Agronomic Systems
Citation: Zaman, Q., T. Esau, Y. Chang, A. Schumann, A. Farooque. 2015. An Automated Smart Sprayer for Spot-Application of Agrochemicals. CSBE/SCGAB 2015 Annual Conference, Edmonton, AB, 5-8 July 2015.
Publisher: Canadian Society for Bioengineering
Date: 2015-07-05
Publication type:
  • Technical conference
Type: Text.Article
Identifier: CSBE15113
Coverage: Canada
Language 1: en
Rights: Canadian Society for Bioengineering

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