Wireless tracking of cotton modules. Part 2: Automatic machine identification and system testing
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The ability to map profit across a cotton field would enable producers to determine where money is being made or lost on their farms and to implement precise field management practices to facilitate the highest return possible on each portion of a field. Mapping profit requires knowledge of site-specific costs and revenues, including yield and price. Price varies site-specifically because fiber quality varies, so mapping fiber quality is an important component of profit mapping. To map fiber quality, the harvest location of individual cotton bales must be known, and thus a system to track the harvest location of cotton modules must be available. To this end, a wireless module-tracking system was recently developed, but automation of the system is required before it will find practical use on the farm. In Part 1 of this report, research to develop automatic triggering of wireless messages is described. In Part 2, research to enable the system to function with multiple harvesting machines of the same type in the same field - a common situation in commercial cotton farming - is described along with testing of the entire automated wireless module-tracking system (WMTS). An RFID system was incorporated, and it enabled the WMTS to correctly and consistently differentiate among various harvesting vehicles. The improved WMTS subsequently sent wireless messages to the correct machines when cotton transfers were made in the presence of multiple harvest machines. Overall testing proved that the automated WMTS worked largely as designed. When both complete and partial cotton basket dumps were simulated, the correct wireless-messaging decision was made 100% of the time. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.
author list (cited authors)
Sjolander, A. J., Thomasson, J. A., Sui, R., & Ge, Y.