Development of a Matlab Code for the Evaluation of Spray Distribution with Water-Sensitive Paper

  • Luca GhianiEmail author
  • Alberto Sassu
  • Davide Piccirilli
  • Gian Luca Marcialis
  • Filippo Gambella
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Civil Engineering book series (LNCE, volume 67)


One of the biggest problems of agriculture is the reckless use of pesticides and their incorrect application with consequent waste of product and environmental pollution. The spray application characterization is a good preventive technique to limit the volume of a distributed product, to perform a more efficient application and to restrict the spray drift. Since there is no specific sampling technique useful for every context, it is necessary that every methodology is known in all its aspects before being employed. The colorimetry, fluorimetry and spectrometry methods are very accurate, but they are costly and time-consuming compared to a Water-Sensitive Paper (WSP) assessment performed by an image analysis software. This kind of software can detect and estimate many drops features using an image often obtained from a scanner. The objective of work was to develop a MATLAB code to evaluate the spray distribution over WSPs. After a pre-processing step in which the WSPs were isolated inside the image, the individual drops were identified using the difference between their color (blue) and the remaining dry part of the paper (yellow). Once the surface of every drop was estimated, it was possible to assess the number of the drops per cm2, the Normal Median Diameter (NMD) and the Normal Volume Diameter (VMD).


Image-processing Water-Sensitive paper MATLAB Pesticide spraying analysis Deposition analysis 



This study was conducted in the framework of two projects funded by the Sardinian Regional Authority, i.e. the project POR FESR Sardegna 2014–2020—“MARS—Multiple Airdrones Response System” and PRIN: PROGETTI DI RICERCA DI RILEVANTE INTERESSE NAZIONALE—Bando 2017 “New technical and operative solutions for the use of drones in Agriculture 4.0”; and the Innovative and CREAtive SEttlements in Sardinia (IN. CREA. SE) for the digital production and rapid prototyping (University of Sassari, 2019).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luca Ghiani
    • 1
    Email author
  • Alberto Sassu
    • 2
  • Davide Piccirilli
    • 1
  • Gian Luca Marcialis
    • 3
  • Filippo Gambella
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AgricultureUniversity of SassariSassariItaly
  2. 2.Inspire s.r.lGenoaItaly
  3. 3.Dipartimento Ingegneria Elettronica, University of CagliariCagliariItaly

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