Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering


Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

First Advisor

Matthew J Darr


A mathematical model of a sprayer boom system was developed to investigate the effects of sensor placement and sensor quantity on the performance of the boom height control system. Terrain profiles were collected from a field with moderate terrain and a field with aggressive terrain. These terrain profiles were then transformed into two-dimensional samples that represented the terrain underneath all portions of the boom for a given field pass. Six field passes were evaluated in the moderate terrain and ten field passes were evaluated in the aggressive terrain. For each terrain sample, a constrained least squared error method was implemented to identify the best fit boom positions.

A control strategy was implemented to provide error measurements. Two sensor placement, three sensor placement, and four sensor placement were all evaluated in this study. For each quantity of sensors, two cases were defined, a constrained case, and an unconstrained case. For each case, positions combinations were generated by sectioning the 16.4m boom into 0.5m sections. Thousands of possible location combinations were evaluated for each terrain sample to investigate the effects of sensor quantity and placement.

The placement results show that an error sample taken at the tip of the boom was favorable in all scenarios. It could also be concluded that an error sample close to center frame did not improve system performance. Further research should be conducted to determine if the solutions determined in this research yield similar results when used independently for commanding a boom position.


Copyright Owner

Mark Deutsch



File Format


File Size

27 pages