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New Zealand Plant Protection 66 (2013): 381

Phase Doppler technology for in-field assessment of drift potential

R.L. Roten, R.J. Connell and A.J. Hewitt

ABSTRACT

Laser-based technologies for droplet analysis have existed for decades, but most of these devices are not suitable to be moved once calibrated. Phase-Doppler interferometer (PDI) technology has enabled the capture of live, in-field spray particle data, such as the particle size distribution, velocity and flux, which are essential to accurately measure and model the drift of agricultural equipment. The objective of this study was to develop and implement methods to determine if drift could be detected and, if so, to use the data obtained to cross-reference its validity with spray drift models, AGDISP and WTDISP. The spray apparatus consisted of a 12V, trailer-type sprayer outfitted with a 50 cm high, four-nozzle boom with 110-SG-02 nozzles delivering 238 litres/ha at 3.4 bar. This setup was selected to maximise the output of the sprayer and produce the worst-case drift scenario for the given spray system. It was observed that driftable particles of a passing and a static sprayer could be detected within close proximity of 8400 cm2. These results also agreed with the model output generated.

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