Imaging techniques for characterising pesticide sprays


In this study, high speed digital imaging and image processing techniques for the characterization of pesticide sprays are developed. These techniques can quantify the spray application process in a non-intrusive way. Existing techniques are not able to fully characterize the spray application process. Spray characteristics have an important effect on the efficacy of plant protection products. The mechanisms of atomization and how the droplets leave the nozzle and impact the leaves are very complex and difficult to quantify or model.

We develop digital imaging and image processing techniques for the characterization of pesticide sprays.  A step by step approach is followed, starting from a single droplet spray application and ending with a real sprayer. Important spray characteristics are the droplet size and velocity distribution, the volume distribution pattern, the entrained air characteristics, the spray sheet structure and the structure of individual droplets. Each step will include the development of a measuring set-up and protocol, experimental work, digital imaging and image processing and, where possible, comparison of the results with existing measuring techniques.

Despite the continuous efforts of researchers and the constructors of sprayers, adjusting sprayers is still mainly based on practical experience and trial and error. The measuring set-up is useful for further research and for testing and adjusting sprayer settings. Moreover, this device could be used as a physical ‘prototyping tool’ by the constructors of sprayers in addition to software tools such as CAD and CFD.

    Project administration

    Researcher: Sofija Vulgarakis Minov

    Funding: Ilvo, AgroSup Dijon, Université de Bourgogne, Nicéphore Cité

    Project duration: 01.03.2011 - 28.02.2015