A simulator of a control system for evaporative cooling of crop canopies was developed. This development, prior to implementation of an irrigation/cooling system, allowed for experimentation before committing resources to the field system. The project provided insight into problems of modeling interaction between biological, mechanical, and digital systems and demonstrated how specialists from diverse areas can solve these problems. The object orientation methodology and the C++ programming language were tools for development of this simulator. A communication mechanism was devised to facilitate interactions between software entities representing both concrete and abstract objects corresponding to the problem domain. The object-oriented approach to the system development allowed for better communication between team members, irrespective of their background in software engineering. The modular and polymorphic nature of the object-oriented code made it possible to plan for code reuse in future projects. Simulator development using the object-oriented paradigm was found to be preferable over the procedural model used by team members in other projects in the past.
Matthew Rogoyski, Alvan Gaus, Byron McNew, Israel Broner, and Thomas Mourney
Matthew Rogoyski, Alvan Gaus, Thomas Mourey, Israel Broner, and Jeffrey Lakey
A novel way to capture long-standing agricultural experience and knowledge in the form of generative patterns is proposed. These patterns can be thought of as solution paradigm where the solutions are the essence of the patterns. A pattern does not provide a concrete solution to a problem but can be considered of as a worldview of the problem or a solution space. A pattern initiates and generates human cognitive behaviors that indirectly facilitate, elucidate, and solve a problem. An application of generative patterns to production agriculture is proposed. An individual pattern, as described here, associates a problem, its context, the forces affecting it, and a solution. A pattern recurring in production agriculture, the socalled uniformity pattern, is presented, and its horticultural example is discussed.
Matthew Rogoyski, Alvan Gaus, Israel Broner, and Thomas Mourey
An evaporative cooling system for apple trees was implemented. The system is automated to conserve irrigation water. The automation is based on the digital, integrated thermometer and thermostat chip embedded in the artificial fruit. The thermometer–thermostat chip drives a solid state relay. The relay controls a solenoid operated valve. A typical duty cycle consisted of 1 to 2 minutes of wetting (water on) to 4 to 10 minutes drying (water off). Differences in the length of duty cycles between individual chips were observed. The reliability of the system was adequate. The waterproofing of the system's electrical components was its weak point. Irrigation water deposits accumulated on the apple fruit surface during the growing season were readily removable with a simulated brush technique.