Another Product Test

We were asked to test another product recently.  Thankfully, this test will not turn out like the last test(click here).  This product is a GPS mapping system for our spray equipment.  We currently are only utilizing the mapping system for this test, but additional features can be added, including more precise boom control, and steering capabilities.  These types of systems are regularly utilized in the agriculture market but are just now being adapted for use on golf courses.  We were asked to use it for a couple of weeks and give feedback on which features were useful and what type of features we may want added.

This picture shows the control that we use on our sprayer on the left.  The GPS mapping unit is the screen on the right.  It utilizes a common GPS signal that is free to use.  A more precise GPS signal can be acquired but it will cost money.  As this technology is advanced further the free GPS signal will become more precise.  Most of the agriculture industry uses a more precise GPS signal that can be acquired through a subscription through a local co-op or similar organization.

This picture shows the graphics on the screen as you are spraying a product.  The blue line shows the area that has been covered.  A small red line can be seen also, this indicates an area of overlap.  As you are spraying, the unit will direct you with arrows if you are skipping an area or overlapping too far.  This is where the steering control can be used.

A feature can be added to this unit that turns the spray booms on and off automatically.  When you begin to apply, you can trace the area you want covered.  As you drive over this area, the unit will turn the spray booms on and off automatically as you drive in and out of the area.

After an application, the data can be downloaded from the unit and a print-out of the application details is available.  There is also a file that allows a map to be dropped in to Google Earth and printed out for record keeping purposes.

Even though this technology has been around for several years in the agriculture industry, it is in its infancy for the golf industry.  I do believe this technology will become more common for the golf industry in the years to come.
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