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Vol. 193, Issue 10, October 2015, pp. 1-10




Smart and Customized Electrical Conductivity Sensor for Measurements of the Response Time
from Sprayers Based on Direct Injection

1, 2 Heitor V. MERCALDI, 1, 2 Caio H. FUJIWARA, 1, 2 Elmer A. G. PEŇALOZA, 2 Vilma A. OLIVEIRA, 1 Paulo E. CRUVINEL

1 Embrapa Instrumentação, Rua XV de Novembro 1452, São Carlos, SP, 13560-970, Brazil
2 Universidade de São Paulo, Av. Trabalhador Sãocarlense 400, São Carlos, SP, 13566-590, Brazil
1 Tel.: +55 1621072800, fax: +55 1621075754

1 E-mail: paulo.cruvinel@embrapa.br


Received: 31 August 2015 /Accepted: 5 October 2015 /Published: 30 October 2015

Digital Sensors and Sensor Sysstems


Abstract: In the application of herbicides on the basis of direct injection systems, spraying response time plays an important role for the quality of spraying, particularly when operating in real time. The response time is defined as the time elapsed from the time of injection until the concentration of the mixture (water mixed with herbicide) reaches 95 % of its regime value in the sprayer nozzles. In the response time, the transport delay and the rise time for achieving the desired concentration are considered. This paper describes an intelligent sensor mounted near the sprayer nozzles to measure the concentration response time in an herbicide direct injection system, which uses a highly stable sinusoidal excitation signal. The sensor calibration was performed with NaCl solutions at concentrations similar to those found in actual application conditions. Using an integrated system based on the Arduino platform, an algorithm was developed to relate the measurements to the response time. The integrated system comprises the sensor with its own sensing hardware, A/D converter, processing and storage capabilities, software drivers, self-assessment algorithms and communication protocols. The immediate application of the integrated system is in the monitoring of the response time of a precision herbicide application. The results point to the next generation of smart devices that have embedded intelligence to support decision making in precision agriculture.


Keywords: Intelligent sensor, Electrical conductivity, Direct injection, Response time.


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