Developing general procedure to quantitatively analyze boom height control performance on self-propelled agricultural sprayers
On self-propelled agricultural sprayers, automatic control systems control the height of the boom through ground detection sensors and hydraulics actuators. There is limited information available to assess the performance of these control systems, and less information available documenting the required field, test, and machine parameters.
This research is focused on developing a general procedure to compare the performance of automatic boom height control systems. This research will provide general background information regarding the self-propelled sprayer and the importance of boom height control. The current literature in the agriculture industry around procedures and metrics to compare systems will be addressed. A general procedure was developed to collect the necessary boom height data to compare control systems in a field environment, and the documentation of necessary field, test, and machine parameters to produce accurate and repeatable results. A metric was then developed to characterize the terrain, which will ultimately limit the performance of the control system. An improved metric was then established to effectively analyze the boom height data and compare the performance of the systems. Data was then collected with three different control systems in a field-testing environment. The relevant background information was documented, the terrain characterized, and the boom height data summarized.