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Variable Rate Technology in Aerial Application A presentation for Ag-Pro Expo Atlanta, GA February, 2007.

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Presentation on theme: "Variable Rate Technology in Aerial Application A presentation for Ag-Pro Expo Atlanta, GA February, 2007."— Presentation transcript:

1 Variable Rate Technology in Aerial Application A presentation for Ag-Pro Expo Atlanta, GA February, 2007

2 VRT utilizes improvements in multiple technologies Aircraft Aircraft GPS Swath Guidance GPS Swath Guidance Aerial imaging and Prescription Maps Aerial imaging and Prescription Maps Dispersal System Dispersal System

3 Air Tractor aircraft Leader in the industry Leader in the industry Turbine-powered aircraft ranging from 400 to 800 gallon capacity Turbine-powered aircraft ranging from 400 to 800 gallon capacity

4 Air Tractor aircraft Highly productive Can efficiently treat a variety of field sizes, application rates, and ferry distances

5 Spray Pattern / Drift Minimization Extensive research to design optimal boom and nozzle placement Extensive research to design optimal boom and nozzle placement Excellent spray pattern; aerodynamically clean fuselage reduces turbulence and drift potential Excellent spray pattern; aerodynamically clean fuselage reduces turbulence and drift potential

6 GPS – Swath Guidance Main players: Satloc and Del Norte merged to form Hemisphere Air Main players: Satloc and Del Norte merged to form Hemisphere Air GPS adopted by majority of aerial applicators GPS adopted by majority of aerial applicators Flow control capability has been in place for past decade. Flow control capability has been in place for past decade. Aerial VRT started 2003 Aerial VRT started 2003

7 Satloc system

8 Imaging / Prescription Maps In Time In Time –Digital Infrared Aerial Imagery –Scout Map to Prescription Map in minutes John Deere Agri- Services John Deere Agri- Services Wilbur Ellis Wilbur Ellis

9 Imaging / Mapping Research USDA Agricultural Research Service conducting Remote Sensing Studies with an Air Tractor for: USDA Agricultural Research Service conducting Remote Sensing Studies with an Air Tractor for: –Weed detection –Detection of insect habitat –Insect and disease damage –Nutrient status –Determining the onset of plant water stress using thermal imagery

10 GPS Video monitor Remote External GPS antenna (opt.) SATLOC GPS Camera VMS Fiber optic cable Camera status indicator Air Tractor 402B Digital Video Instrumentation

11 Weed detection: Original image Johnsongrass Cotton in rows Spurges

12 Weed detection: Processed image Red = Johnson grass Yellow = Spurge Green = Cotton Black = Unclassified

13 Dispersal Systems for VRT Engine-driven Hydraulic Spray System: Kawak Aviation Technologies – – Controls flow rate by varying speed of pump – – Rate changes in milliseconds – – Zero-rate capable – – Cost: app. $50,000 Paired with AutoCal flow controller by Houma Avionics

14 Installation on AT-402B

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17 Dispersal Systems (cont.) DC Powered Electric System DC Powered Electric System – –Controls rate by an electric valve, such as Satloc Aerial Ace – –Rate changes are slower than with full hydraulic system – –Zero rates are controlled by a separate hydraulic shutoff valve – –Cost: app. $27,000

18 Nozzles for VRT Veri-rate by Spray Target Veri-rate by Spray Target –Designed specifically for Variable Rate Aerial Application –Keeps droplet size within proper spectrum regardless of pressure

19 AE-50 Nozzle Pressure variation from 30 – 60 PSI Pressure variation from 30 – 60 PSI Flow rate variation from 0.3 to 3.0 GPM Flow rate variation from 0.3 to 3.0 GPM Rate change response time is.25 seconds Rate change response time is.25 seconds

20 Advantages of Aerial VRT Accuracy: USDA study (Smith & Thomson, 2005) Accuracy: USDA study (Smith & Thomson, 2005) –Flowrate error due to flow controller:.77% –Flowrate error due to rate change timing: 3.04% Faster than ground application Faster than ground application No crop damage from wheel tracks No crop damage from wheel tracks Cost savings from reduced chemicals Cost savings from reduced chemicals Environmental benefit Environmental benefit

21 Accuracy of Aerial VRT Prescription Map Actual Applied

22 Accuracy of Aerial VRT Prescription Map Actual Applied

23 Lowest Biomass 7 Highest Biomass 5 0 gpa 2.5 gpa, 10 fl oz, 5.13 fl oz, 2.5 fl oz 3.0 gpa 4.0 gpa 0 gpa 4.0 gpa, 16 fl oz, 8.2 fl oz, 4.0 fl oz 3.0 gpa Variable Rate (VR) PGR/Insecticide/Boron Application Location: Arkansas Delta Crop: Cotton Field Size: Acres Imagery Acquired: July 5, 2004 VR Treatment Applied: July 8, 2004 Chemical Cost of Variable Rate Application: $5.85/Acre Blanket application equivalent to the 3 gpa rate: $9.39/Acre. Cost savings: $3.54/acre Scout Map Prescription Map

24 Insecticide Application acres 1 gal = acres No Spray = acres 18% Chemical Savings Prescription Map As Applied

25 2.3 gallons 0 gallons 3.0 gallons Rx & As-Applied Acres Pix on cotton Saved $5.06 / Acre Versus 3 gal / Acre Blanket Cost Savings of VRT Scout Map Prescription As-Applied

26 Applications & Future Growth Aerial VRT being used in Texas, California and Mississippi Delta Aerial VRT being used in Texas, California and Mississippi Delta Applications Applications –Cotton: Pix and Defoliation –Rice: Fertilizer and Insecticide –Trees (fruit & nut) Dry Application: Dry Application: –great interest; still in early stages –Mississippi State Univ. working to measure application rate Current Research for rapid, real-time imaging and conversion to prescription Current Research for rapid, real-time imaging and conversion to prescription –Map in one pass, Spray in second pass

27 For more information contact: Kristin Edwards, VP Sales Thanks for your attention!


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