ISOBUS Task Controller: Part 2

VIRTEC display.
VIRTEC display.

In the last Task Controller (TC) post, I gave a broad outline of how a TC session works in the general case.  In this post, I will start describing some of the different types of TCs and Tasks.  These can range from very simple to very complex.

The simplest form a TC can take actually has an associated AEF Functionality associated with it:  TC-BAS, which stands for Task Controller – Basic.  With this type of TC, only totals are logged for a particular task.  Some examples would include:  a sprayer that logs the total volume of liquid that has been used; a spreader that logs the total mass of fertilizer that has been applied; a planter that logs the total quantity of seed planted; a baler that counts total bales produced; or a combine that logs total product harvested.  With this type of TC, a geo-reference is not required since the totals can be referenced to a particular field as identified by the operator in the Task.  A Task that uses only this capability will likely be created on the TC itself just before starting the Task, rather than creating the Task on an FMIS program on a computer to be transferred to the TC.

The second form a TC can take is also a logging type, but in this case it does geo-referenced logging.  Obviously a geo-referencing system is required (e.g. GPS).  As the operator drives through the field, the TC-Client will stream the selected data to the TC for logging.  It is the TC’s responsibility to capture the data and the geo-reference positions and correlate the two.  That last statement trivializes the job of the TC a bit; the TC uses the geometric positions of each data provider, as described in the DDOP, to position the streaming data in the correct geo-referenced location.  Perhaps an example will help describe it:  a combine harvesting corn with a 16-row head could have a yield monitor on each half of the head, and the yield map of the harvested corn would place each measurement on the respective side of the combine path.  In addition to yield mapping, geo-referenced data logging is used for tracking actual application rates for spray, fertilizer, and seed, or for soil sampling.

That covers the two simpler types of TCs for data logging.  Those interested in Big Data should have a lot of interest in these types of TCs.  But for operators, there are two other types of TC that allow for some level of autonomous control for better performance.  I will cover those in future posts. Click here for Part 3 of this series. Or to review Part 1, click here.