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Sensors 2019, 19(8), 1760; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19081760

Vibration Monitoring of the Mechanical Harvesting of Citrus to Improve Fruit Detachment Efficiency

1
Department of Rural Engineering, Universidad de Cordoba, 14004 Cordoba, Spain
2
IDAL, Intelligent Data Analysis Laboratory, Universidad de Valencia, 46100 Valencia, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 March 2019 / Revised: 26 March 2019 / Accepted: 9 April 2019 / Published: 12 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Sensor Technology in Agriculture)
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Abstract

The introduction of a mechanical harvesting process for oranges can contribute to enhancing farm profitability and reducing labour dependency. The objective of this work is to determine the spread of the vibration in citrus tree canopies to establish recommendations to reach high values of fruit detachment efficiency and eliminate the need for subsequent hand-harvesting processes. Field tests were carried out with a lateral tractor-drawn canopy shaker on four commercial plots of sweet oranges. Canopy vibration during the harvesting process was measured with a set of triaxial accelerometer sensors with a datalogger placed on 90 bearing branches. Monitoring of the vibration process, fruit production, and branch properties were analysed. The improvement of fruit detachment efficiency was possible if both the hedge tree and the machinery were mutually adjusted. The hedge should be trained to facilitate access of the rods and to encourage external fructification since the internal canopy branches showed 43% of the acceleration vibration level of the external branches. The machine should be adjusted to vibrate the branches at a vibration time of at least 5.8 s, after the interaction of the rod with the branch, together with a root mean square acceleration value of 23.9 m/s2 to a complete process of fruit detachment. View Full-Text
Keywords: Citrus sinensis L. Osbeck; mechanical harvesting; acceleration sensor; vibration time; logistic regression Citrus sinensis L. Osbeck; mechanical harvesting; acceleration sensor; vibration time; logistic regression
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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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Castro-Garcia, S.; Aragon-Rodriguez, F.; Sola-Guirado, R.R.; Serrano, A.J.; Soria-Olivas, E.; Gil-Ribes, J.A. Vibration Monitoring of the Mechanical Harvesting of Citrus to Improve Fruit Detachment Efficiency. Sensors 2019, 19, 1760.

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