A data acquisition system was developed to monitor in-field performance of an agricultural tractor. Transducers were mounted to measure operational parameters such as the engine, wheel and ground speed with further devices to measure fuel consumption and field slope. The system also measured, displayed and recorded the forces acting on the three point linkage through a dynamometer system. The force measurement was effected through the lower links and top link, combining with angular position to give the total horizontal and vertical components of the forces acting on the tractor. The signals from the transducers were recorded and displayed on-line through Signal Centre Professional™ software. Thus, the operator was continually provided with useful information regarding the tractor’s performance. In combination with a real time DGPS link, each parameter was attributed to a geographical location and a number of performance parameters were subsequently mapped. Results from field work indicate that significant savings can be made through having appropriate information that allows machine set up to be improved. In this study, a saving of £4.70 ha −1 was demonstrated while using a tined cultivator in stubble.
Computers and Electronics in Agriculture – Elsevier
Published: Aug 1, 1999
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