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Sensors 2018, 18(11), 4060;

Evaluation of Object Surface Edge Profiles Detected with a 2-D Laser Scanning Sensor

College of Engineering, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210031, China
USDA-ARS Application Technology Research Unit, Wooster, OH 44691, USA
Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, The Ohio State University, Wooster, OH 43210, USA
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 5 September 2018 / Revised: 7 November 2018 / Accepted: 7 November 2018 / Published: 21 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Terrestrial Laser Scanning)
PDF [2530 KB, uploaded 21 November 2018]


Canopy edge profile detection is a critical component of plant recognition in variable-rate spray control systems. The accuracy of a high-speed 270° radial laser sensor was evaluated in detecting the surface edge profiles of six complex-shaped objects. These objects were toy balls with a pink smooth surface, light brown rectangular cardboard boxes, black and red texture surfaced basketballs, white smooth cylinders, and two different sized artificial plants. Evaluations included reconstructed three-dimensional (3-D) images for the object surfaces with the data acquired from the laser sensor at four different detection heights (0.25, 0.50, 0.75, and 1.00 m) above each object, five sensor travel speeds (1.6, 2.4, 3.2, 4.0, and 4.8 km h−1), and 8 to 15 horizontal distances to the sensor ranging from 0 to 3.5 m. Edge profiles of the six objects detected with the laser sensor were compared with images taken with a digital camera. The edge similarity score (ESS) was significantly affected by the horizontal distances of the objects, and the influence became weaker when the objects were placed closer to each other. The detection heights and travel speeds also influenced the ESS slightly. The overall average ESS ranged from 0.38 to 0.95 for all the objects under all the test conditions, thereby providing baseline information for the integration of the laser sensor into future development of greenhouse variable-rate spray systems to improve pesticide, irrigation, and nutrition application efficiencies through watering booms. View Full-Text
Keywords: automation; surface contour detection; greenhouse crop; pesticide spray equipment; variable rate automation; surface contour detection; greenhouse crop; pesticide spray equipment; variable rate

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Yan, T.; Wang, X.; Zhu, H.; Ling, P. Evaluation of Object Surface Edge Profiles Detected with a 2-D Laser Scanning Sensor. Sensors 2018, 18, 4060.

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