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Perimeter protection: Radar alerts potential collision hazards

02/03/2014 @ 12:55pm

The face of farming is rapidly changing to incorporate technology aimed at producing more food to accommodate a growing population. To support the influx of technology, product development firm Cambridge Consultants is using its expertise to design innovative, low-cost solutions for the agricultural industry. Its latest device draws on its background in advanced radar technology to help agricultural vehicles avoid collisions.

Practical solution to age-old problem

According to the National Agricultural Tractor Safety Initiative, more than 250 people die each year in tractor-

related incidents; this is the leading cause of death and severe injuries in agriculture.

“As tractors become equipped with more and more automated technology, like auto steer and GPS tracking, the risk of collisions with unexpected obstacles increases,” says Nathan Wrench, Cambridge Consultants.

The collision-avoidance system helps prevent this by protecting the perimeters of the vehicle from potential hazards, giving audible and visual warnings to the driver.

The radar units are designed to be installed on the front and rear of a machine as well as on the end of a boom. The units can detect multiple collision hazards in a wide field of view (150° on the horizontal plane, 90° on the vertical plane), which maximizes coverage.

The technology can process moving and stationary obstacles. Hazards are tracked continuously. If the system detects an imminent collision, it warns the driver. If an object is moving, the sensor tracks its path to determine whether an impact is likely.

“We have identified a huge demand for this type of agricultural technology, as we see a continued increase in advanced farming techniques in the face of impending population growth and food shortages,” says Gary Kemp, program director at Cambridge Consultants. “We’ve created practical technology that’s simple to operate and install, but it is also low cost and incredibly effective.”

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