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Tracks impacted field area simulation using kinematics and geometry for different equipment and operation scenarios

Subhashree, Srinivasagan N., Igathinathane, C.
Biosystems engineering 2019 v.187 pp. 185-200
agricultural machinery and equipment, agricultural mechanization, bales, baling, biomass production, computer simulation, control methods, geometry, kinematics, models, soil compaction, tractors, traffic
The intensity of the traffic caused by the farm equipment in mechanised agriculture generates track impacted areas which aggravate the soil compaction in the fields. A developed R simulation program evaluated the track impacted area and operational time of the equipment during bale aggregation along with harvesting and baling using kinematics and geometrical principles. Distance travelled by equipment and their respective track widths (footprint) determined the track impacted areas under different scenarios. Tracks impacted areas simulated for automatic bale picker (ABP) with several bales/trip (8–23 bales/trip) and areas (1–259 ha) were compared with a control method, using a tractor that can handle 1 and 2 bales/trip. The logistics simulation used the developed more realistic curvilinear method (circular turning paths developed for the harvester, baler, tractor, and ABP) and compared with simpler Euclidean paths. Overall, the impacted areas by the curvilinear method were 1.06–1.29 times the Euclidean for bale aggregation but were not statistically different (p≥ 0.49). Results indicated that the baler followed by harvester produced the least impacted area and ABP the most. Developed prediction models determined the curvilinear track path from Euclidean distances, impacted area from the field area, bales/trip, and biomass yield for different operations, as well as overall operational time fitted well to the results (0.95 ≤R2≤ 0.99). A small ABP of 8 bales/trip (which is also capable of 11 bales/trip) was recommended based on efficient bale aggregation and least impacted area.