overview of the proposed activityamong many weather-related risks, frost events can damage crops significantly and lead to substantial economic losses. a multi-disciplinary team of horticulturists, and agricultural and mechanical engineers propose to develop a comprehensive cyber-physical system to increase the efficiency and sustainability of frost protection in the us specialty crop industry. the project integrates autonomous vehicles, real-time data analytics, decision making, and internet of things (iot) communications to fulfill its vision of significantly reducing the cost and increasing the precision of frost protection of fruit trees. the proposed system consists of two sensor elements (uavs), an actuator element (ugv with a heater), and a base station (central processing and dispatching unit). in objective 1, two uav-based sensing systems will be developed to monitor air temperature of an apple orchard in real-time and evaluate developmental stages of flowers in the field. information generated from objectives 1 will be used as inputs to decision making and the mission planning process for an autonomous mobile heating unit developed in objective 2. finally, communication and cooperative control of the multi-vehicle system will be integrated and evaluated in a field test in objective 3.statement on intellectual merit of the proposed activityfrost protection using a novel combination of multi-vehicle systems for sensing, mission planning, and control in real-time is a unique application and has never been tested in orchard conditions. the proposed research will provide powerful tools for the frost protection such as real-time deep learning algorithm for determining critical temperatures of freeze damage and mobile apparatus for effective heat transfer in biological systems. understanding the structure, terrain, and environmental conditions in the orchard, a well-strategized communication approach will open new doors to secure a reliable interface platform between the ugv and uav with accurate and safe ugv navigation.statement on broader impacts of the proposed activityevery year, the u.s. produces an average of 15 million tons of deciduous fruit. however, risks of crop losses caused by unpredictable freeze damage is one of major threats in improving the profitability of the industry. successful completion of this project will provide an effective way to maintain crop yield by saving fruit from frost damage and increase economic profits. also, developed technologies will reduce dependency on physical skills in farming, have the potential to engage more women, people with disabilities, and older people in agricultural jobs, and improve the quality of life in rural communities by providing good working conditions and opportunities for farm workers to develop skills and advance their careers within agricultural field robotics and machinery.
|Effective start/end date||3/15/19 → 6/14/23|
- National Institute of Food and Agriculture: $843,329.00
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