Accurate spray characterization helps to better understand the pesticide spray application process. The goal of this research was to present the proof of principle of a droplet size and velocity measuring technique for different types of hydraulic spray nozzles using a high speed backlight image acquisition and analysis system. As only part of the drops of an agricultural spray can be in focus at any given moment, an in-focus criterion based on the gray level gradient was proposed to decide whether a given droplet is in focus or not. In a first experiment, differently sized droplets were generated with a piezoelectric generator and studied to establish the relationship between size and in-focus characteristics. In a second experiment, it was demonstrated that droplet sizes and velocities from a real sprayer could be measured reliably in a non-intrusive way using the newly developed image acquisition set-up and image processing. Measured droplet sizes ranged from 24 μm to 543 μm, depending on the nozzle type and size. Droplet velocities ranged from around 0.5 m/s to 12 m/s. The droplet size and velocity results were compared and related well with the results obtained with a Phase Doppler Particle Analyzer (PDPA).
|Publication status||Published - 2016|