Sprayer technology: Amazone SmartSpray

Amazone has announced the much-anticipated release of its cutting-edge ‘green on green’ precision spot-spraying system

Amazone SmartSpray allows the simultaneous application of blanket and spot sprays, even at night

Developed in collaboration with Bosch and BASF Digital Farming, the SmartSprayer system is capable of spot-spraying individual plants with pinpoint accuracy at working speeds of up to 12km/h and in all light conditions.

Claas Harvest Centre product manager (Amazone), Steve Gorman, says the technology can significantly reduce spraying costs and the amount of chemicals entering the environment.

"Spot spraying can slash input costs by up to 70% compared to full-field treatment, depending on the weed pressure and field conditions," he says.

"It can also significantly reduce spraying costs by reducing the number of refills required and thus increasing the number of hectares that can be treated each day.

"This technology is equally suitable for both pre- and post-emergence applications and simultaneous spot and blanket spraying."

The first commercial model to be released is the Amazone UX 5201 SmartSprayer trailed unit, which has undergone extensive testing throughout Europe over the past 18 months.

Spot application via the spot nozzle bodies

Bosch infrared sensors and specially developed LED lighting pods are mounted every metre along the newly developed 36-metre Hightech boom.

"Bosch’s image recognition system detects any weeds, even at a very early growth stage, in milliseconds," Steve says.

"The sensors detect chlorophyll, which is the ‘signature’ of green plants. Each sensor monitors a 100cm wide band divided into four sectors."

BASF’s xarvio agronomic decision-making platform then considers a number of parameters, including crop, weed spectrum, and weather conditions to determine the appropriate treatment, nozzle, and application rate. Pulse width frequency modulation (PWFM) valves then activate selected Agrotop Spot Fan nozzles, which are mounted at 25cm intervals to apply the herbicide exactly at the desired position.

These valves can be opened or closed — or the application rate adjusted from 30 to 100% — in two milliseconds while maintaining the desired spray pressure and droplet size," Steve says.

"Put simply, this technology ensures that the right herbicide is applied at the right rate to the right place."

The booms incorporate special LED lighting that enables accurate weed detection, day or night

The booms also incorporate Amazone’s ContourControl active guidance and SwingStop vibration damping systems for enhanced accuracy and operational efficiency.

The boom ends also feature integrated break-back protection.

The addition of an FT-P 1502 front tank allows the simultaneous application of a blanket spray of herbicides, insecticides, or fungicides.

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