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Article

Terrain Analytics for Precision Agriculture with Automated Vehicle Sensors and Data Fusion

1
Department of Biological System Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706, USA
2
Cockrell School of Engineering, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712, USA
3
Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706, USA
4
Alabama Transportation Institute, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Aitazaz A. Farooque
Sustainability 2021, 13(5), 2905; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13052905
Received: 15 February 2021 / Revised: 2 March 2021 / Accepted: 2 March 2021 / Published: 8 March 2021
Precision agriculture aims to use minimal inputs to generate maximal yields by managing the plant and its environment at a discrete instead of a field level. This new farming methodology requires localized field data including topological terrain attributes, which influence irrigation, field moisture, nutrient runoff, soil compaction, and traction and stability for traversing agriculture machines. Existing research studies have used different sensors, such as distance sensors and cameras, to collect topological information, which may be constrained by energy cost, performance, price, etc. This study proposed a low-cost method to perform farmland topological analytics using sensor implementation and data processing. Inertial measurement unit sensors, which are widely used in automated vehicle study, and a camera are set up on a robot vehicle. Then experiments are conducted under indoor simulated environments that include five common topographies that would be encountered on farms, combined with validation experiments in a real-world field. A data fusion approach was developed and implemented to track robot vehicle movements, monitor the surrounding environment, and finally recognize the topography type in real time. The resulting method was able to clearly recognize topography changes. This low-cost and easy-mount method will be able to augment and calibrate existing mapping algorithms with multidimensional information. Practically, it can also achieve immediate improvement for the operation and path planning of large agricultural machines. View Full-Text
Keywords: inertial measurement units; movements and monitor tracking; gyroscope; accelerometer; multidimensional information inertial measurement units; movements and monitor tracking; gyroscope; accelerometer; multidimensional information
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zhao, W.; Li, T.; Qi, B.; Nie, Q.; Runge, T. Terrain Analytics for Precision Agriculture with Automated Vehicle Sensors and Data Fusion. Sustainability 2021, 13, 2905. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13052905

AMA Style

Zhao W, Li T, Qi B, Nie Q, Runge T. Terrain Analytics for Precision Agriculture with Automated Vehicle Sensors and Data Fusion. Sustainability. 2021; 13(5):2905. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13052905

Chicago/Turabian Style

Zhao, Wei, Tianxin Li, Bozhao Qi, Qifan Nie, and Troy Runge. 2021. "Terrain Analytics for Precision Agriculture with Automated Vehicle Sensors and Data Fusion" Sustainability 13, no. 5: 2905. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13052905

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