Farmscape for August 4, 2020
Scientists hope to begin field testing of the latest version of temperature and humidity sensors within swine transport vehicles this fall.
The University of Saskatchewan, the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization, the Prairie Swine Centre and the Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute in collaboration with industry and with support from Swine Innovation Porc are working to improve the cleaning and disinfection of swine transport vehicles.
As part of that work sensors developed by Transport Genie to monitor and track factors such as temperature, humidity and vibration within the trailer and GPS coordinates are being tested for durability.
Dr. Terry Fonstad, a Professor in the College of Engineering with the University of Saskatchewan, says earlier versions of the sensor weren't durable.
Clip-Dr. Terry Fonstad-University of Saskatchewan:
First of all they’ve got to be able to withstand the animals because the animals can chew on them if they're bored.
Then, if you can imagine, they might have to take plus 100 degrees Celsius or 110 because the furnaces with get up to 110 as they get these trailers up to 75 degrees and so, if they're near the back, they can get quite warm and they have to get to minus 40 if they're parked outside and still work.
They've got to be able to take vibration.
A truck going down the road is going to hit railway tracks and all kinds of things that are going to cause vibration and they'll be banged around by that.
They've got to take heat cycling, hot and cold and hot and cold.
If you're baking a trailer and it gets to 75 degrees for 20 minutes and you open the doors and throw it outside at minus 40, the sensor is going to hit that same temperature.
The testing that we're doing is heat cycling, vibration.
We've got a vibration table for them and then also tumbling them around like it was rolling around in a trailer and try to make sure it keeps reading.
We're looking at reliability and dependability and accuracy before they go out to the industry.
The next step, we'll put them in real trucks and haul a load of animals and run them through the wash facility and through the bake ovens and make sure that they're doing what they're supposed to be doing for the industry.
Dr. Fonstad hopes field testing of the sensors in trailers can begin by September.
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