Master of Science in Biological and Agricultural Engineering (MSBAE)


Biological and Agricultural Engineering

Document Type



Operation S.A.F.E workshops, commonly known as “fly-ins” help agricultural pilots “fine tune” their aircraft for aerial application work. During the fly-in several ancillary measurements are recorded; aircraft speed, aircraft spray release height, air temperature and relative humidity, wind speed and direction. These measurements are recorded by personnel operating the flight line with manually operated sensors. Some of the difficulties arise when the lack of personnel and or experience level hinders the ancillary measurement, or when equipment becomes difficult to repair and/or replace. The objectives of this project are to design two automated sensor platforms to aid data collection and analysis for Operation S.A.F.E. type clinics. The first platform is the automated field measurement system (AFMS) and acquired aircraft ground speed and application release height measurements. The results from field experiments show that the AFMS was able to acquire representative aircraft ground speed data when the sensor was oriented at 45°. The AFMS was also able to acquire a series of 50 – 80 of height values after the aircraft passes over the height measurement sensor. A representative height value was able to be determined by averaging the 50 – 80 height values. The second platform is the new string analysis system (NSAS). This unit was developed to process liquid spray deposition patterns collected onto 1 mm diameter cotton string. The system was able to detect rhodamine water tracer RWT dye collected on the cotton string collector during the spray pattern analysis trials. The system produced a series of values which represented the florescence intensity of the RWT. The NSAS produced the optimum fluorometer sensor response when a distance of 2 mm between the sensor and string collector was implemented. The NSAS processes the string collector at speeds between 1.6 m/min to 5.0 m/min. The fluorescence sensor detected higher readings when operating at 1.6 m/min, however overall processing speed was greater than 28 minutes for standard string collector lengths of 45 m. The two automated systems have been field tested and the results indicate that prototypes have the potential to be further developed into tools for use with Operation S.A.F.E. calibration workshops.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Roberto N. Barbosa



Included in

Engineering Commons