Animal Science Department


Date of this Version



Written for presentation at the 2009 ASABE Annual International Meeting Sponsored by ASABE Grand Sierra Resort and Casino Reno, Nevada June 21 – June 24, 2009


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An off-the-shelf low cost laser sensor was tested and evaluated both in laboratory and field conditions. The sensor identified the angular and straight edges of the laboratory test surface and replicated the straight edge profile with an error of 4%. In field conditions, the sensor identified three types of cut crop edges (wheat, alfalfa and corn) and replicated distinct shapes (triangle, curved and rectangular edges). The sensor was tested at two sensor path offset distances and three tractor/sensor speeds (3.2, 6.4 and 9.6 km/h). In all test runs the sensor detected the cut-crop edges. Standard deviations and RMSE values in determining the actual cut-crop edges for the entire field test were within 210 cm and 13 cm respectively. The sensor performed the best in the case of wheat cut-crop edge where the RMSE was 4.2 cm (sensor path offset = 1m, speed 3.2 km/h) and performed the worst in the case of alfalfa cut-crop edge where the RMSE was 16.7 cm (sensor path offset = .30 m and speed 9.6 km/h).