PLF case results

ISense and PASgeRUND collaboration – Shaojie Zhuang – update December 2017

PASgeRUND is a collaborative project between ILVO and Inagro, Innovation support center and Hooibeekhoeve aiming to reduce gas emissions from dairy farming facilities in Flanders. The first step of the project is developing a practically applicable method for quantifying emissions at barn and floor level. With a shared interest in cost-effective gas measuring techniques, iSense-PLF is now assisting PASgeRUND on investigating different gas sensing systems and measurement strategies in naturally ventilated dairy barns.

EC-PLF conference – Shaojie Zhuang - update August 2017

Some laboratory and field test results of a commercially available ammonia analyzer (Axetris® F200-A) will be presented at the EC-PLF 2017 conference, where the analyzer accuracy and potential improvement points will be demonstrated and discussed. 

Field tests in dairy cattle barn – Shaojie Zhuang - update August 2017

The scope of ammonia (NH3) sensor evaluation were extended to dairy facilities. Two 24-hour experiments were conducted in a naturally ventilated dairy barn and the performance of two Axetris F200-A tunable diode laser (TDLA) analyzers were compared with reference methods, i.e. open-path tunable diode laser and wet chemical method. The first experiment was carried out in cooperation with EnviVice (Netherlands), and the second solely by researchers from ILVO. Despite of the low ammonia concentration in the dairy barn, the performance of the Axetris TDLA was promising. Longer term experiments with the analyzer in a similar test set-up will soon be started.

Multisampler 2.0 – Shaojie Zhuang - update August 2017

The assembly of the second version of a multisampler is in progress. The system consists of 24 sampling lines and a common bypass line. The valves are controlled by a set of Arduino compatible microcontroller boards in a master-slave configuration. Sampling schemes can be viewed and changed directly via the on-board displays and buttons. The master controllers also processes and logs analog input signals of up to 18-bit resolution from four additional digital instruments. Upon completion the multisampler will be tested in a rearing facility for fattening pigs.

Field tests in fattening pig and beef cattle barn - Shaojie Zhuang – update May 2017

Multiple short-term field experiments were conducted in a fattening pig barn and a beef cattle barn to compare an Axetris F200-A tunable diode laser (TDLA) analyzer with reference methods in ammonia (NH3) measurement, i.e. Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy and Cavity Ring-Down (CRD) Spectroscopy. In general the Axetris TDLA showed satisfying agreement with both of the reference instruments. Several influencing factors that may potentially affect the behavior of the Axetris TDLA were noticed and would be further investigated.

A major mistake in the FTIR measurement set-up was exposed and immediately fixed during the experiment. Impact of the mistake on the validity of the measurement were thereafter investigated. Based on the conclusion, some unexpected FTIR measurements from other experiments prior to the fix were well explained.

Multipoint gas measurement - Shaojie Zhuang - update Febr 2017

A prototype of a multichannel gas monitoring system was constructed and validated for measuring ammonia (NH3) emission from slurry in an experimental condition. High accuracy gas concertation measurement is performed by a tunable diode laser analyzer (TDLA). Inline pressure and flowrate in the sampling system are passively regulated using control valves, and channel switches are controlled by a programmable logic controller (PLC).

Construction of a second prototype will soon start including two major upgrades. Firstly the architecture design and the corresponding passive flow regulation will be improved to satisfy more diverse sampling requirement and operation conditions. Secondly the PLC will be substituted with an industrial-grade Arduino-compatible controller for better cost-effectiveness.

Indoor positioning system - Shaojie Zhuang- update Febr 2017

Positioning algorithms and geometry of base stations are two important factors influencing the performance of a range-based positioning system. A positioning algorithm has been developed to achieve optimal 2D positioning accuracy and computation efficiency in a barn for group-housed gestation sows. From the positioning data a trajectory of a moving object, such as a sow or a person,  can be recovered using a noise-reducing filter. Most of the previous tests intentionally avoided factors that might affect the performance of the system, such low battery and non-line-of-sight. Further tests will address the actual effect of those factors and feasibility of maintain satisfying positioning accuracy.

Figure: Localisation test with a sow

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