Biological Systems Engineering


First Advisor

Santosh K. Pitla

Date of this Version

Summer 8-2021


A Thesis, Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Agricultural and Biological Systems Engineering, Under the Supervision of Professor Santosh K. Pitla. Lincoln, Nebraska: August, 2021

Copyright 2021 Andrew Donesky


Power sources used for vehicles are advancing at a fast pace. Electric batteries are becoming more power dense, thus allowing them to be used with electric motors in place of a diesel or gas powered systems. There are several ways that energy use and storage size can be computed for agricultural field operations, such as planting, using theoretical predictions, gathering engine load data from tractor’s Controller Area Network (CAN) bus, or integrating the CAN data to determine the actual power used by implements.

While measuring data from the CAN bus is a great way to capture actual tractor use information, sometimes the information required is not available. Researchers have used custom sensor systems to collect the implement power requirements in the past. This project focuses on developing individual instrumented pins for determining the drawbar power required to pull implements attached to the three-point hitch and designing a Power Take Off (PTO) sensor system for measuring PTO torque. The three-point hitch pin system and the PTO sensor system were tested and validated. Additionally, based on the tractor CAN bus data collected from a planting operation, analysis is presented to determine the size and kWh requirements of a battery power source assuming a fully electric tractor.

Advisor: Santosh K. Pitla