Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering


Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

First Advisor

Matthew Darr


Self-propelled sprayers have become commonplace in controlling pests and weeds in agricultural production. As technology has advanced, boom height control systems have allowed for more precise application of pesticides by improving the consistency of the spray nozzle height relative to the ground. Most agricultural sprayers use mechanical springs and passive dampers as a suspension between the fixed center frame and the suspended center frame of the sprayer, which improves the natural rejection of machine dynamics into the boom.

In this work, adjustable air springs were installed in place of traditional mechanical springs as a means of suspension between the chassis and boom system. These air springs were optimized for both in-field operation and a turning event. Control logic was developed to actively control the air springs during machine operation. A case study was carried out to determine the effectiveness of the active air spring control system with regard to boom height performance.

Performance metrics were calculated for the baseline and active control test sets and it was determined that the turning event control logic significantly improved boom height performance. Based on the data collected for this study, there appears to be an opportunity for improvement in boom height control performance with active air spring control as a means of suspension of the boom system. More research should be conducted to identify more events when the active air spring control system could be utilized to improve boom height control.


Copyright Owner

Kyle Blaylock



File Format


File Size

62 pages

Available for download on Wednesday, June 15, 2022