There are reports about measuring mass flow in potato harvesters by X-ray with two wave lengths sources, by load cells in conveyors and by optical surveying with image analysis. In mechanics, an impulse is defined as the integral of force over time. If one succeeds in producing a constant velocity difference in the mass flow of potatoes, then there exists a directly proportional correlation between the integral force and the mass flow. A constant speed difference can be produced when the potatoes hit a plate on which the potatoes bounce almost vertically in the discharge trajectory of a conveyor belt. Under laboratory conditions, a rubber coated plate with a force measuring instrument was placed in different positions in the discharge trajectory of a conveyor belt running at 3 different speeds. For simulation of mass flow in steps of about 1 kg up to 40 kg, different masses of potatoes were placed on the conveyor belt. For additional simulation of vibrations in a potato harvester, the measurement device was moved horizontally, at five different frequencies and four amplitudes. The results showed a clear linear relationship between mass flow and force. For many parameter combinations, the quality of fit was more than 0.99 and, in some cases, standard error was less than 0.083 kg s−1. The results indicated that a bounce plate provides a basis for measurement in potato harvesters for yield mapping.
Precision Agriculture – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 16, 2004
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