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1 November, 2013 - 09:08 By News Desk

Cambridge technology to stop the killing fields


Cambridge Consultants has devised novel radar technology to create hi-tech tractors that could end the killing fields scenario on UK farms.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) says accidents involving agricultural vehicles are the leading cause of farming deaths in the UK.

As farmers load their vehicles with more and more automation technology – like auto-steer mechanisms and GPS tracking for precision farming – the risk of collisions with unexpected obstacles increases.

Cambridge Consultants’ says its new radar system protects the perimeters of the vehicle from potential hazards – giving audible and visual warnings to the driver.

Gary Kemp, programme director at the innovative Cambridge business said the launch of the new detector was timely. “We have identified a huge demand for this type of agricultural technology as we see a continued increase in advanced farming techniques in the face of impending population growth and food shortages,” he said.

“We’ve created practical technology that’s simple to operate and install but is also low cost and incredibly effective.”

The radar units are designed to be installed on the front and rear of a vehicle as well as on the boom ends and can detect multiple collision hazards in a wide field of view which maximises coverage.

The technology can process many different moving and stationary obstacles – and instantly send an alert to the driver to warn of a potential collision. The low-frequency (5.8GHz) system is based on standard manufacturing principles, making it a cost-effective solution, Cambridge Consultants says.

The sensor simultaneously tracks multiple objects in 3D over a wide field of view and up to 30m range while a real-time collision prediction algorithm identifies hazards early – giving the driver ample time to take avoiding action.

The company will be showcasing its latest farming technology at a major exhibition in Germany from November 12-15.

Cambridge Consultants has a long history of expertise in radar systems – ranging from through-wall radar for military and law enforcement needs to radar that can help air traffic controllers accurately track aircraft flying over wind farms.

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