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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Continuous Position and Speed Sensor for Center Pivot Sprinkler Systems


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 84 No. 4, p. 751-755
    Received: Sept 12, 1990

    * Corresponding author(s):
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  1. Steven J. Thomson  and
  2. Matt C. Smith
  1. D ep of Agricultural Engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Inst and State Univ., Blacksburg, VA 24061
    D ep of Agric Engineering, Univ of Georgia Coastal Plain Exp Stn, Tifton, GA 31793.



Determination of center pivot position and speed are frequently required for both research and commercial operations. To represent these variables accurately, a simple device that provides a continuous, high-resolution representation of center pivot position and speed was constructed of readily available parts. A goal was to develop a device that was an improvement from previous designs. A timing belt was bonded to a center pivot riser, and as the riser turned, the belt meshed with a gear causing it to rotate a 360 ° potentiometer. The device described can be interfaced to a computer at a central location to record center pivot position and calculate rotational speed. Measured position had a coefficient of variation of 1.7% for five trials. The sensor can improve water and chemical management for both research and commercial center pivot irrigation.

Supported by State, Hatch, and Richard King Mellon Foundation Funds allocated to the Univ. of Georgia College of Agriculture Experiment Stations.

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