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IMPROVED SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR CONTROLLING AGRICULTURAL VEHICLE OPERATION USING HISTORICAL DATA

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000191115D
Publication Date: 2009-Dec-16
Document File: 7 page(s) / 319K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

A system and method for controlling a harvester or other agricultural vehicle using historical data is disclosed. The system includes a location system, vehicle sensors, a data storage unit, and a system controller. In one embodiment of the method, historical yield data for a working area of land is gathered using sensors, the yield data is associated with location information gathered using the location system to form a historical map, and the historical map is stored in the data storage unit. During subsequent harvesting operations, the historical map is used by the system controller to determine the appropriate ground speed and other settings for the harvester throughout the working area. By anticipating the crop conditions and appropriate settings for a location point ahead of the harvester, the desired settings can be implemented before the changed crop condition is encountered. Other types of historical data, such as moisture levels, crop variety, ground elevation, relative ground elevation (e.g., landscape position surface data), ground slope, precipitation data, or weather data, may be used to supplement, modify or replace the use of historical yield data.

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IMPROVED SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR CONTROLLING AGRICULTURAL VEHICLE OPERATION USING HISTORICAL DATA

ABSTRACT

  A system and method for controlling a harvester or other agricultural vehicle using historical data is disclosed. The system includes a location system, vehicle sensors, a data storage unit, and a system controller. In one embodiment of the method, historical yield data for a working area of land is gathered using sensors, the yield data is associated with location information gathered using the location system to form a historical map, and the historical map is stored in the data storage unit. During subsequent harvesting operations, the historical map is used by the system controller to determine the appropriate ground speed and other settings for the harvester throughout the working area. By anticipating the crop conditions and appropriate settings for a location point ahead of the harvester, the desired settings can be implemented before the changed crop condition is encountered. Other types of historical data, such as moisture levels, crop variety, ground elevation, relative ground elevation (e.g., landscape position surface data), ground slope, precipitation data, or weather data, may be used to supplement, modify or replace the use of historical yield data.

BACKGROUND

  Harvesters and other agricultural vehicles with automated drive speed systems can automatically change ground speed during operation. If the yield at a location is relatively high, then the vehicle's ground speed may need to decrease at that location to avoid grain loss or other undesirable operation. Similarly, if the yield at a location is relatively low, then the vehicle's ground speed may need to increase to maximize efficiency and decrease the amount of time spent in the field.

  Current control systems exist to determine the instantaneous yield at a particular location using vehicle sensors, determine the optimum equipment settings for that location based on the sensed yield, and automatically adjust the vehicle's ground speed as required by the sensed instantaneous yield. Such control systems are reactionary, sensing the current yield and adjusting ground speed accordingly based only on the current readings of the vehicle sensors. Reactionary control systems experience difficulties when the instantaneous yield is very inconsistent across the working area as very frequent updates to the harvester's ground speed may be required in response to frequent changes in instantaneous yield. Because implementation of a ground speed change is not instantaneous, updated settings may be sent to the automated drive speed system faster than they can be implemented under widely varying yield conditions. By the time the setting changes take effect, the conditions may have changed again, making the settings change unnecessary and resulting in undesirable operation such as grain loss, grain damage, reduced efficiency, equipment dam...