Uniformity of water distribution plays an important role in evaluating irrigation quality. As necessities in calculating irrigation uniformity during designing a lateral-move sprinkler irrigation system (LMSIS), the water distribution patterns of individual sprinkler in motion are crucial. Considering the limitation of the experiment platform, dynamic water distribution of an isolated sprinkler is difficult to measure, especially for a fixed spray plate sprinkler (FSPS) which LMSIS has been widely equipped with in China, therefore developing a model to simulate dynamic water distribution of a moving sprinkler is necessary. The objective of this study was to develop and validate the theoretical basis for calculating water distribution characteristics of a single FSPS in translational motion applying a superposition method, and provide an optimized operation management of LMSIS. The theoretical model’s validity was verified in an indoor experiment using a Nelson D3000 FSPS in motion with 36 grooves and blue-plate spray heads. The software was programmed using the Eclipse Platform and the software was capable of simulating water distribution pattern and Christiansen uniformity coefficient (Cu). The results indicated that the water distribution simulated by the software presents three peaks of maximum application under varying conditions, and the value of water application peaks decreased as working pressure and/or mounting height increased. Conversely, the wetted diameter increased as working pressure and/or mounting height increased. Working pressure, mounting height, and sprinkler spacing each had a significant effect on the Cu. The Cu increased as working pressure and/or mounting height increased but decreased as sprinkler spacing increased. As a consequence, the model can be used to predict the relative water distribution pattern; and the Cu can be calculated with the simulated data, thus providing a tool for designing a new LMSIS.
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