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Measuring spatial variability in soil characteristics

United States Patent

6,497,153
December 24, 2002
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Idaho National Laboratory - Visit the Technology Transfer and Commercialization Office Website
The present invention provides systems and methods for measuring a load force associated with pulling a farm implement through soil that is used to generate a spatially variable map that represents the spatial variability of the physical characteristics of the soil. An instrumented hitch pin configured to measure a load force is provided that measures the load force generated by a farm implement when the farm implement is connected with a tractor and pulled through or across soil. Each time a load force is measured, a global positioning system identifies the location of the measurement. This data is stored and analyzed to generate a spatially variable map of the soil. This map is representative of the physical characteristics of the soil, which are inferred from the magnitude of the load force.
Hoskinson; Reed L. (Rigby, ID), Svoboda; John M. (Idaho Falls, ID), Sawyer; J. Wayne (Hampton, VA), Hess; John R. (Ashton, ID), Hess; J. Richard (Idaho Falls, ID)
Bechtel BWXT Idaho, LLC (Idaho Falls, ID)
09/ 677,183
September 28, 2000
CONTRACTUAL ORIGIN OF THE INVENTION This invention was made with United States Government support under Contract No. DE-AC07-94ID13223, now Contract No. DE-AC07-99ID13727 awarded by the United States Department of Energy. The United States Government has certain rights in the invention.