1960-01-01

APPLICATION OF AUTOMATIC CONTROL TECHNIQUES TO FUTURE AGRICULTURAL MACHINERY 600101

The technical growth of American agriculture will be determined by the pressures of the society within which that agriculture is rooted. To predict and influence the direction of growth, it is necessary to examine the history of the society and to extrapolate its pattern of development.
These patterns are studied and translated into mechanical requirements and the necessary developments in philosophy and technique of control are discussed. It is shown that principles of closed-loop systems--servos--must be applied and that the key development will be the measuring elements (sensors). The requirements in the several areas of agriculture are examined and three specific examples of feasible developments are described:
  • The first is one requiring simple on-off control.
  • The second utilizes a numerical data-processing system and control.
  • The third illustrates a complex, multiple-function system with a variety of control loops and associated sensors.
The conclusion is drawn that many significant developments are entirely feasible and will be accomplished when social pressure creates an atmosphere of economic desirability.

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