Automating harvester and haul-out forward progression during harvestusing RTK-GPS

Ruxton, Adam, and Grabau, P.J. (2009) Automating harvester and haul-out forward progression during harvestusing RTK-GPS. Proceedings of the Australian Society of Sugar Cane Technologists, 31. pp. 355-364.

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This paper highlights a proposed relative position monitoring system using GPS-based technology during crop harvesting in the Australian sugarcane industry. It describes the application of Precision Agriculture (PA) techniques to synchronise the operation of harvester and haul-out transport vehicles. The overall aim of this project is to reduce operator demands during in-field harvesting of sugarcane whilst maximising crop yield through automation. There are two stages of the project to achieve this. The final stage is the automation of harvester forward speed to maintain a constant throughput of sugarcane at an optimal rate. Providing this real-time assistance to harvester operators will allow them to concentrate on other key functions such as base cutter height operation, leading to reduced operator fatigue. Since the harvester speed varies, synchronising the relative position of the accompanying haul-out transport vehicle is essential to ensure billet collection is maximised. This first stage requires the haul-out to know the position of the harvester, and that relevant information is presented to the haul-out operator so bins can be filled evenly and accurately with minimal spillage. This paper describes the system developed to achieve the first stage of the project. Key components of this system are the invehicle display developed using the programming language C#, the use of real time kinematic global positioning system (RTK-GPS) for auto-steering and position determination, and the use of an ad-hoc Wi-Fi network for inter-vehicle wireless communications. A description is given of the necessary electronics and computer hardware and software used to give operators an aerial view of where their vehicles are. In-field test data shows the system provides sufficient accuracy to achieve the desired result.

Item ID: 9882
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 0726-0822
Keywords: GPS; inter-vehicle communication; C#; automation control; precision agriculture; Wi-Fi
Date Deposited: 19 Apr 2010 01:56
FoR Codes: 09 ENGINEERING > 0906 Electrical and Electronic Engineering > 090602 Control Systems, Robotics and Automation @ 60%
09 ENGINEERING > 0909 Geomatic Engineering > 090904 Navigation and Position Fixing @ 40%
SEO Codes: 82 PLANT PRODUCTION AND PLANT PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8206 Harvesting and Packing of Plant Products > 820603 Sugar Cane (Cut for Crushing) @ 90%
86 MANUFACTURING > 8614 Machinery and Equipment > 861401 Agricultural Machinery and Equipment @ 10%
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