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Swath Pattern Analysis & Optimization

Swath Pattern Testing

We use our own Swath Kit equipment to analyze aircraft spray patterns. Research has consistently shown that the efficacy of biologically-active compounds such as pesticides can be greatly affected by the droplet spectrum. Other considerations apply as well. For example, the fine droplets that work best on controlling a pest may be easily drifted away from the site of application and may even be banned by the pesticide label (in many countries, pesticide labels state what permissible droplet sizes can be used to spray a pesticide).

Once the correct atomizer (nozzle) has been chosen for the aircraft. it is essential to locate the nozzles along the spray boom so that the aircraft can perform an even coverage of the spray site. Simulation models can be used to position atomizers in their optimal positions (see modeling menu), but there is no substitute for field testing different atomizer positions to ensure that no gaps or over-dosed areas occur in the spray pattern. 

Droplet Technologies can test your swath pattern if your application rate is 0.25 - 10 gallons/ac (2.5 - 100 L/ha) and the droplet size has a VMD of 80µm or greater; both aqueous and oil formulations are suitable. 


Spray Procedures and Results

A flat site is located and the land owner's permission is obtained. If the actual pesticide is used, the material must not be used in a manner contrary to the pesticide label. Once the aircraft is set up, several replicates are usually sprayed of each configuration. The approximate spray height that is used in practice is used in the spray trials. It takes only a few minutes to read a set of cards (although laying them out and collecting them takes considerably longer) and any needed corrections to the spray pattern are made by moving, adding or subtracting nozzles. The process is repeated until a satisfactory pattern is obtained.

Because weather conditions can change throughout the day, there is a certain art to running spray trials. Droplet Technologies' many years of experience will make the process as efficient as possible.


Spray Drift Measurement

If required, drifting fine droplets can be captured and measured at varying distances from the application site.