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Home arrow Swath Kit arrow Swath Kit Pricing
Using the Swath Kit

Although agricultural aircraft are widely used throughout the world, few of these aircraft have had their spray patterns analyzed. Such an analysis allows the operator to maximize the spacing between successive swaths and shows the droplet size distribution in the spray that allows the operator to fine-tune the spray for the mission and test for the likelihood of spray drift.


A spray pattern analysis is performed in 4 steps:

PLANNINGFIELD TRIALSPRAY CARD READINGSWATH PATTERN ANALYSIS


The procedure is illustrated with screen images taken from a typical analysis session with the Swath Kit program. Running in Microsoft Windows, the Swath Kit has a visual interface where many inputs are made with simple clicks of the mouse. (Note: the program works only with Windows 95, 98 or Me). 

  

Step 1. Planning the Mission 

Every aircraft / spray sytem configuration needs to be planned. You can use software modeling tools like AgDISP to position atomizers optimally. The Swath Kit provides a Calibration Assistant which is an integral part of the program which helps in the selection of atomizers and their settings (Fig 1).

This is an example of calibration in metric units. The Swath Kit can use US units or any combination of the two.

Calibration

  


Step 2. Field Trials - Spraying the Card Line

The data that is used for spray pattern analysis is obtained from a line of spray cards which is laid out perpendicular to the line of aircraft flight. The card line consists of numbered coated white cards mounted 0-12 inches (30 cm) above the ground. Where an oil-based spray is used, oil sensitive cards are used in place of coated white cards.


Any spray mix which will show a good contrast on spray cards can be used. It is common to add a tracer dye to the mix to make it more visible to the image analyzer. Actual spray mixtures or inert substances can be sprayed. The aircraft flies at the same height and speed that it would use during the actual application over forest or crop.

In the example on the right, 3 card lines are laid out, and two are covered up so that only one line gets sprayed. The sprayed line then gets covered, exposing a fresh card line. In this manner three or more card lines can be sprayed  in rapid succession.


A weather station can be used during field trials to help interpret the spray pattern data. Droplet Technologies provides a weather station (The Met Kit) which produces a data file which can be integrated with the final Swath Kit trial record.

CardSpray