In-situ calibration of a mini-yield sensor (mounted on a five-row grain combine) with a non-linear relation to the flow rate was examined. Instead of measuring or controlling the flow rate of grain for calibration purposes, 10 or 12 pairs of grain weights and signal recordings were collected directly in the fields; three such data sets (weights and signals) were obtained. Two parameters of the relation were optimized so as to minimize the standard error. The relative error of validation was 3% to 5% with data sets of a wide range of flow rates, whereas it was up to nearly 10% with a data set of low flow rates. The optimized parameters varied with each data set, but those yielding low errors were common in the response surface of error, regardless of the data sets.
Leaf lettuce (Lactuca sativa L. cv. ‘Greenwave’) containing an introduced Cauliflower mosaic virus-35S promoter fused onto the the β-glucuronidase (GUS) gene was grown in a plant factory for 50 days from seeding. Measurements of the GUS expression level of leaves indicated that the GUS protein that accumulated in the leaves was very stable and did not degrade. Consequently, the GUS expression per plant increased exponentially as the cultivation period became longer. This stability of the recombinant protein indicates that a longer cultivation period would be more efficient than the conventional cultivation period in a plant factory. However, the optimum cultivation period depends on the stability of the recombinant protein which is required.
Heat shock treatments (HSTs) using microwave radiation were performed on harvested rice (cv. Koshihikari) up to 60, 70 and 80°C, and kept additionally for 0, 1 and 3 min, following drying and storage at 40°C for 6 months. For control rice, during storage there was a decrease in protein and starch digestibility, increase in setback viscosity (SV), final viscosity (FV) and pasting temperature (PT), while peak viscosity (PV) increased rapidly for the first 2 months then decreased. The HSTs at 70 and 80°C were effective in maintaining a high value of starch digestibility and low value of PV during storage, while the HSTs at 60°C retarded changes of PV and FV values. The results showed that HST would benefit quality maintenance of stored rice.
A new method is proposed for soil improvement of salt-affected soils in regions where a sufficient amount of rainfall occurs in summer. The subsoil is made coarse by soil sintering, and the capillarity from groundwater is cut off. Thus, the rise to the soil surface of salts which are dissolved in the groundwater is prevented. Moreover, the salts that accumulate in the topsoil are washed out by rainfall (leaching) during the summer season. In this paper, based on the previous experiments of soil sintering, a prototypical soil-sintering plough was developed to make soil coarse. A stationary soil-sintering device was used to determine optimal conditions of thickness of spread soil on the conveyor, and conveyor speed. When this soil thickness was 15 mm and the conveyor speed was 5.7 mm s-1, the maximum thermal efficiency (about 30%) was obtained. When these conditions were applied to a prototypical soil-sintering plough attached behind a tractor, the required plough travel speed was 1.9 mm s-1 (6.84×10-3 km h-1) for practical use with 3 burners, 90 mm in the operating depth and 300 mm in the operating width .
Consumer satisfaction is one of the essential factors in quality evaluation of a biological greening material. It is relatively difficult to be elicited. This paper presents development of Kansei-based Intelligent Decision Support System (KIDSS) to elicit satisfaction. Elicitation was proposed by quantifying design attributes into Weighted Average Importance Index (WAII) and Consistency Index (CI). Attributes were selected using questionnaires and quantified using Kansei fitness function. The function was subsequently optimized by particle swarm optimization. As a case study, KIDSS was demonstrated on Sunagoke moss (Rhacomitrium japonicum). The result successfully indicated consistency of WAII and CI values regarding robustness. KIDSS was effectively validated in different consumer segments. WAII and CI are possible abstractive parameters to elicit satisfaction for quality evaluation.
A manipulator control method was developed to realize the harvesting of operation for tomato clusters at high speeds. In robot harvesting, both speedy transportation and vibration damping are required when a tomato cluster is transported into a box or a basket by using a manipulator. An input shaping method (ISM) is one of the typical control methods for such control problems. Although the ISM requires accurate natural frequencies of the controlled object, the natural frequencies are different for each tomato cluster. Then, the identification of the natural frequency was combined with the ISM in our method. This identification is based on the data obtained in real time using a machine vision system, a force sensor, and a database on the physical properties of tomato clusters. A numerical simulation study and experiments were conducted and it was verified that the proposed method was applicable to the tomato harvesting robot motion.
The publisher of "Engineering in Agriculture, Environment and Food (EAEF)" will change from J-Stage (JST) to Elsevier Ltd. on January 1, 2014. New issues after Vol.7 will be browsed on ScienceDirect, whereas Vol.1-6 can be still browsed on J-Stage.
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