PRECISION AGRICULTURE EXPERIMENT CARRIED OUT IN BRAZIL IN THE CONTEXT OF CALIBRA PROJECT
GNSS has been extensively used in Brazil in several applications. One of them is the Precision Agriculture (PA), either for plantation, harvest or maintenance of the area of plantation. The ethanol industry is an example of a daily use of PA, 24 hours a day. They require the use of high accuracy system, like RTK (Real Time Kinematic). However, there is a big challenge for using such systems as they need. The main reason is due to the ionospheric scintillation (IS) that disrupts the system quality normally after the sunset and they have to stop the activities, which results in a very large loss. Therefore, the PA industry in Brazil is looking forward having a robust solution for this problem. An example of an agro industry company that uses such systems for long time and very extensively is Agro Pastoril Campanelli, an industry partner in the context of the CALIBRA project.
Due to the high interest of Agro Pastoril in having such problem solved, they provided to UNESP and ConsultGEL all infrastructure to perfume an experiment during the normal field operation in one of their property. It was in Olimpia, São Paulo State. Figure 1 provides a general view of the property.
GNSS receivers of property of UNESP and ConsultGEL that were purchased in the context of CALIBRA project were used during the experiments. The used receivers are the following: 1 PolaRxS to monitor the ionosphere (Figure 2), 2 AsteRx3 to perform tests either static (Figure 3) or kinematic mode and 3 RTK Altus APS3 receivers – one to be used as base station (Figure 4) and 2 as rover, both installed in the tractor that was operating in the field (Figure 5). The experiments were carried during the first week of April 2014.
The figure 6, obtained from the ISMR query tool, shows that although the scintillation was not so strong, we can see that at least a moderate scintillation occurred in the last day of the experiment.
At this stage of the project the data are stored and made available to the project partners. They are being processed and the results analyzed. Results will be made available during the next meeting of the project.