GNSS-Based Planning System for Agricultural Logistics
Background & Objectives
GeoPAL is a GNSS-based planning system for agriculture logistics. GeoPAL provides an advanced logistics system for the harvesting and distribution functions of bio-production related supply chains. The software will include in-field route planning modules for harvesting machines and transport units. The application will build on existing modules, pre-developed by the partners, to design a new prototype.
Why this project is important for EGNOS/GSA/SatNav?
GeoPAL aims to develop an innovative application for the agricultural market, taking advantage of Galileo and EGNOS capabilities.
GeoPAL aims to design a high-precision farming application that is able to take advantage of Galileo and EGNOS, but also offers features that no other software currently offers. In current agricultural practice vehicle drivers need to plan their own path over a field. This can either be done manually by the drivers, based on their own experience, or by drawing lines using a guidance system.
The first objective of the project is for the planning system to calculate and optimize the path through the field.
The second innovation aimed at by the proposal is to develop a system able to guide the transport units to a machine that is working at a precise location in a field.
Thirdly, to solve the problem that tractor drivers seldom know the field exactly, the system guides the drivers to the intended field and makes sure they are working in the right field. The guidance is done by an innovative street-and-track navigation system that is able to calculate routes on field tracks to bridge the last mile between the street and the field. The drivers of the transport units can continuously be informed by the system about which field the machine is working in and when it is moving to the next field. Consequently, the transport unit will always drive to the correct field.
How does it work?
The overall strategy within the GeoPAL work plan is to allocate Work Packages (WPs) to those partners who are already specialized in the particular tasks. The work plan is broken down into 8 WPs:
- WP1 Project Management
- WP2 Analysis of existing modules and final conceptualization of the new product
- WP3 Integrated Planning System
- WP4 Development of product
- WP5 Integration of the system
- WP6 Product testing and validation
- WP7 Market/Business Plan
- WP8 Dissemination of results
- Development of the route planning software (beta)
- Integration of the track line generation tool
- Definition of the technical interfaces between the planning software and the mobile units
- Planning of first field test.
Work performed & results
Conceptualization of the new product GeoPAL:
- Definition of the overall architecture and technical infrastructure
- Definition of the Quality of Services and the restrictions compared to the defined requirements of GeoPAL.
- Guidance lines generation tool
- On-line logistic process management system
- Software that will include in-field route planning modules for harvesting machines and transportation units and high precision navigation
- Software will include a display linking both planning and navigation systems, so that harvesters and transportation units can coordinate biomass collection and unloading as efficiently as possible.