Flow Control and Operation Monitoring System for Individual Spray Nozzles

Award Information
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Branch: N/A
Contract: 2002-33610-11817
Agency Tracking Number: 2002-00109
Amount: $80,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2002
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
101 N. Kansas Avenue, Topeka, KS, 66603
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Graeme Henderson
 (785) 232-4477
Business Contact
 Graeme Henderson
Title: President
Phone: (785) 232-4477
Email: graeme@earthlink.net
Research Institution
This project addresses the increasing demands and need for precise control and reliability in agrochemical application. The ultimate goal of this project is a single-nozzle monitoring and control technology and device. The device will allow individual nozzle resolution on flow rate and spray droplet size. The device will also provide, either in conjunction with control or simply as a driver-alert system, individual monitoring of proper nozzle operation. Often, drivers cannot see all spray nozzles on a large boom or they are fully engaged in driving a wide, fast-moving vehicle over rough terrain. Individual nozzle communication will be achieved using current CAN bus systems which are commercially used on spray application vehicles. This research effort will initially focus for techniques for reliable, low-cost, robust flow sensing and actuator monitoring. Pressure, acoustic, vibration and vortex-shedding techniques will be investigated with spray nozzles. Potential interference from vehicle noise, vibration and electrical emissions will be determined. Signal processing requirements for low-cost sensors will be determined. At-nozzle microprocessor requirements for communication, sensor signal analysis and actuator control and will be determined. The results from Phase I will be used in Phase II to design a prototype system and implement it on commercial sprayers.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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