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Sensors 2018, 18(1), 73; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18010073

A Compound Sensor for Simultaneous Measurement of Packing Density and Moisture Content of Silage

1
Key Laboratory on Modern Precision Agriculture System Integration Research, Ministry of Education, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100083, China
2
Agricultural Information Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100081, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 October 2017 / Revised: 22 December 2017 / Accepted: 23 December 2017 / Published: 28 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors in Agriculture)
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Abstract

Packing density and moisture content are important factors in investigating the ensiling quality. Low packing density is a major cause of loss of sugar content. The moisture content also plays a determinant role in biomass degradation. To comprehensively evaluate the ensiling quality, this study focused on developing a compound sensor. In it, moisture electrodes and strain gauges were embedded into an ASABE Standard small cone for the simultaneous measurements of the penetration resistance (PR) and moisture content (MC) of silage. In order to evaluate the performance of the designed sensor and the theoretical analysis being used, relevant calibration and validation tests were conducted. The determination coefficients are 0.996 and 0.992 for PR calibration and 0.934 for MC calibration. The validation indicated that this measurement technique could determine the packing density and moisture content of the silage simultaneously and eliminate the influence of the friction between the penetration shaft and silage. In this study, we not only design a compound sensor but also provide an alternative way to investigate the ensiling quality which would be useful for further silage research. View Full-Text
Keywords: silage; packing density; moisture content; compound sensor; simultaneous measurement silage; packing density; moisture content; compound sensor; simultaneous measurement
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Meng, D.; Meng, F.; Sun, W.; Deng, S. A Compound Sensor for Simultaneous Measurement of Packing Density and Moisture Content of Silage. Sensors 2018, 18, 73.

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