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Correct field drift prediction is a key element in environmental risk assessment of spraying applications. A reduced order drift prediction model based on the diffusion-advection equation is presented. It allows fast assessment of the drift potential of specific ground boom applications under specific environmental wind conditions that obey the logarithmic wind profile. The model was calibrated based on simulations with a validated Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) model. Validation of both models against 38 carefully conducted field experiments is successfully performed for distances up to 20 m from the field edge, for spraying on flat pasture land. The reduced order model succeeded in correct drift predictions for different nozzle types, wind velocities, boom heights and spray pressures. It used 4 parameters representing the physical aspects of the drift cloud; the height of the cloud at the field edge, the mass flux crossing the field edge, the settling velocity of the droplets and the turbulence. For the parameter set and range considered, it is demonstrated for the first time that the effect of the droplet diameter distribution of the different nozzle types on the amount of deposition spray drift can be evaluated by a single parameter, i.e., the volume fraction of droplets with a diameter smaller than 191 µm. The reduced order model can be solved more than 4 orders of magnitude faster than the comprehensive CFD model.
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