In-situ open path FTIR measurements of the vertical profile of spray drift from air-assisted sprayers

Oz Kira, Yael Dubowski, Raphael Linker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Estimating pesticide spray drift, which is a part of total drift loss, is complex as airborne pesticide concentrations are low and depend on multiple factors. The aim was to measure and compare vertical profiles of spray drift generated by different sprayers using Open Path Fourier-Transform-Infra-Red (OP-FTIR) spectrometer. Field tests included three types of commercial agricultural sprayers. The OP-FTIR was placed at the edge of an apple orchard with the line of sight parallel to tree rows. The OP-FTIR and its reflector were mounted on platform lifts to allow measurements at 4 heights: 3 (canopy height), 4, 5, and 6 m above ground. The sprayers sprayed water within the three tree rows closest to the OP-FTIR as well as outside each tree row in order to estimate the spray drift as function of distance with and without tree interference. The results of the experiments showed that, under the meteorological conditions prevailing, there were substantial differences between the sprayers in terms of spray drift of droplets with diameter > 5 μm. Additionally, the results showed that spray drift can be reduced substantially (by up to 50%) by using a tree-line barrier or a buffer zone.

Original languageEnglish GB
Pages (from-to)32-41
Number of pages10
JournalBiosystems Engineering
StatePublished - 1 May 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Active remote sensing
  • Aerosols
  • Pesticide drift
  • Thermal infrared
  • Water sensitive papers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Soil Science


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