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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Traversing Sensor Platform for Environmental Measurements


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 85 No. 4, p. 965-968
    Received: May 21, 1992

    * Corresponding author(s):
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  1. Jay M. Ham  and
  2. F. W. Caldwell
  1. Dep. of Agronomy, Evapotranspiration Lab., Kansas State Univ., Manhattan, KS 66506



Under conditions of high spatial variability, environmental sensors can be transported across or through the region of interest to obtain representative samples of the measured parameter. A traversing platform was designed to carry heavy sensors and instruments along a horizontal path under field conditions. The system was composed of a 0.17- by 0.13-m rolling platform atop a 2.2-m long aluminum channel. A motorized cable-chain drive was used to move the platform at a speed of 0.035 m s−1. The system was powered with 12-V DC deepcycle batteries and consumed ≈6 W of power when the sensor platform was in transit. On-board circuits can be used in conjunction with a programmable datalogger to sense the platform's location or stop the platform at user-specified locations along the traversing path. The mechanism was capable of transporting a 5-kg sensor package at inclination angles up to 45°. The system operated without failure for a 6-wk period under field conditions.

Contribution no. 92-402-J from the Kansas Agric. Exp. Stn., Manhattan.

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