Continuous Position and Speed Sensor for Center Pivot Sprinkler Systems
- Steven J. Thomson and
- Matt C. Smith
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.
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