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Proceedings Paper

Photo-optical sensor system for rapid evaluation of planter seed spacing uniformity
Author(s): Changhe Chen; Michael F. Kocher; John A. Smith
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Paper Abstract

Seed spacing uniformity is crucial to crops such as sugarbeets. Planter manufacturers, dealers, and sugarbeet growers are interested in how uniformly planters place seeds into the soil. The current laboratory method for testing planter accuracy uses a stationary planter unit to place seeds onto a grease belt, allowing visualization of the seed spacings. This method, however, is very difficult and time consuming. Automation of the test using photonics is desirable. A rectangular photogate block was designed with light emitting diodes (LEDs) opposite photo- transistors. Twenty-four pairs of LEDs and photo-transistors were connected to a digital I/O board on a personal computer to detect space and time between seeds. During laboratory testing of a planter unit, the photogate was positioned beneath the seed drop tube to simulate the bottom of a furrow. A program was developed to poll the twenty four digital channels and three counters so no seeds could go through the photogate without being detected. Planter ground speed was monitored through a magnetic switch. Histograms of seed spacing and relative location of seed passing through the photogate were provided for each test. The outputs conform with the requirements of International Organizations for Standardization 7256/1 - 1984.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 January 1995
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 2345, Optics in Agriculture, Forestry, and Biological Processing, (6 January 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.198885
Show Author Affiliations
Changhe Chen, Univ. of Nebraska/Lincoln (United States)
Michael F. Kocher, Univ. of Nebraska/Lincoln (United States)
John A. Smith, Univ. of Nebraska/Scottsbluff (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2345:
Optics in Agriculture, Forestry, and Biological Processing
George E. Meyer; James A. DeShazer, Editor(s)

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