Jueves, 22 Diciembre 2016 16:58

Mobile device to measure erosion on cultivated land is patented

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The ‘profilometer’ designed by researchers of the Spanish Campus of International Excellence ceiA3

The ‘profilometer’ designed by researchers of the Spanish Campus of International Excellence ceiA3

 

 

Controlling the erosion caused by water is fundamental for farmers. The passing of water from rain, irrigation or rivers over cultivated land causes deterioration of fields. The control of this erosion allows professionals in this sector to be informed about the situation of the land and avoid loss and deterioration in cultivated zones. To favour this task, a research team from the University of Cordoba’s Rural Engineering Department that coordinates the Campus of International Excellence ceiA3 has patented a new device that calculates quickly and precisely the surfaces of ground eroded by water (gullies).
It is a new profilometer that measures the surface of ephemeral gullies (trenches created by the passing of water), gullies in fields and drainage channels that farmers want to analyse in cultivated fields and hence measure the erosion and loss in the soil that can be produced by the action of water, a situation that can lead to the deterioration and loss of cultivated zones. 
This new device is composed of a distance laser sensor that allows measurements to be taken in a determined area without the need to establish physical contact with the depressions formed by the water. “For better operation we have installed a laser device on a direct current motor, a motor that moves in a circular motion via a rotary system,” explains professor Rafael Pérez Alcántara, who is in charge of the project. “The system has an adjustable initial position and turning range that allows for the taking of measurements vertically and horizontally,” he continues. At present, measurements are carried out with heavier profilometers that prevent the user from transporting them. 
Once measurements are taken, the data is stored through a microcontroller – an electric circuit that includes in its interior the three functional units of a computer: a central processing unit, memory and entrance and exit peripherals – that allow for the downloading and analysis of information collected through the application of software installed on the computer. The profilometer can also be incorporated into a GPS device to pinpoint exactly where the measurements have been taken and which is useful for storing and processing the obtained results. 
More Precision and Less Time
“Through this device more precise measurements are obtained. Its design of a laser on a continuous motor allows for the recording of a high number of detailed sections and reduces the time taken to collect the data,” explains Pérez Alcántara. Another of its advantages is that, being a lighter device than is normally used, it is fully portable for the user. “All these characteristics dramatically reduce the cost of analysis and, as such, make it more attractive to the professionals who require this type of measurements,” concludes professor Pérez Alcántara.  

Controlling the erosion caused by water is fundamental for farmers. The passing of water from rain, irrigation or rivers over cultivated land causes deterioration of fields. The control of this erosion allows professionals in this sector to be informed about the situation of the land and avoid loss and deterioration in cultivated zones. To favour this task, a research team from the University of Cordoba’s Rural Engineering Department that coordinates the Campus of International Excellence ceiA3 has patented a new device that calculates quickly and precisely the surfaces of ground eroded by water (gullies).

It is a new profilometer that measures the surface of ephemeral gullies (trenches created by the passing of water), gullies in fields and drainage channels that farmers want to analyse in cultivated fields and hence measure the erosion and loss in the soil that can be produced by the action of water, a situation that can lead to the deterioration and loss of cultivated zones. This new device is composed of a distance laser sensor that allows measurements to be taken in a determined area without the need to establish physical contact with the depressions formed by the water. “For better operation we have installed a laser device on a direct current motor, a motor that moves in a circular motion via a rotary system,” explains professor Rafael Pérez Alcántara, who is in charge of the project. “The system has an adjustable initial position and turning range that allows for the taking of measurements vertically and horizontally,” he continues.

At present, measurements are carried out with heavier profilometers that prevent the user from transporting them. Once measurements are taken, the data is stored through a microcontroller – an electric circuit that includes in its interior the three functional units of a computer: a central processing unit, memory and entrance and exit peripherals – that allow for the downloading and analysis of information collected through the application of software installed on the computer. The profilometer can also be incorporated into a GPS device to pinpoint exactly where the measurements have been taken and which is useful for storing and processing the obtained results. More Precision and Less Time“Through this device more precise measurements are obtained. Its design of a laser on a continuous motor allows for the recording of a high number of detailed sections and reduces the time taken to collect the data,” explains Pérez Alcántara. Another of its advantages is that, being a lighter device than is normally used, it is fully portable for the user. “All these characteristics dramatically reduce the cost of analysis and, as such, make it more attractive to the professionals who require this type of measurements,” concludes professor Pérez Alcántara.  

 

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