Turf monitoring technology to aid in benchmarking and maintenance of sporting fields

Piper, A. G. (2004) Turf monitoring technology to aid in benchmarking and maintenance of sporting fields. [USQ Project] (Unpublished)


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A large sum of money goes into the establishment and upkeep of elite sporting fields in Australia. Unfortunately the curators of suburban ovals do not have the luxury of such budgets. This project addresses the need for inexpensive aids to help the curators of these less elite fields to better utilize the money in their tight budgets. The aids generated also have the potential to benefit the more elite fields through better targeting of maintenance practices. Through appropriate selection of turf cultivar and surface preparation, a surface that maximizes playability, limits injury and wears well can be created. Producing and maintaining such a uniform surface is difficult due to the variable utilization rates of different areas. To improve the effectiveness of the maintenance activities requires the field to be managed in smaller areas often related to quantity of use. Managing at this higher level requires more time being spent gathering and interpreting data, which is expensive and requires a higher curator skill level. If the collection and interpretation of data can be mechanized, then the increased pressure applied to the curators time and skill base can be reduced. At present most analytical tools are used in research with few used commercially. This is often due to being cumbersome and difficult to use, as well as being expensive to acquire. The data produced by these instruments is often of no value to the curators as it is useless without a trained professional's interpretation. This project, being of a research, design and construct nature, had to satisfy the following requirements and procedures. The project was required to: 1. Identify quantitative measures of turf health and playability 2. Design a sensor to measure the most beneficial quantity 3. Link quantity to a position 4. Create a map of the collected data 5. Validate data collected 6. Draw conclusions as to the usefulness of the data collected The visual analysis of a surface gives coverage and varietal information. Through replicating the human recognition processes, areas needing attention can be identified. The path from grass to map contains a sensor (camera) and a processor (laptop) that converts the images into meaningful quantities which describe the surface condition. Combining this with a GPS unit allows turf maps to be created (refer figure 1). The use of these maps to identify areas that require rehabilitation can save precious money and allow curators to provide better playing surfaces which make recreational activities more enjoyable for all members of the community. -- This abstract is incomplete: see project for complete abstract.

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Item Type: USQ Project
Refereed: No
Item Status: Live Archive
Depositing User: epEditor USQ
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Agricultural, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2007 00:12
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 22:30
Uncontrolled Keywords: turf monitoring technology, sport field maintenance
Fields of Research (FOR2008): 09 Engineering > 0999 Other Engineering > 099901 Agricultural Engineering
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/24

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