We came across this interesting experimental application the other day. Raytheon and Paramount Citrus are teaming together to test Raytheon's Tempwave™ frost protection system for citrus crops. The system is intended to prevent freeze damage to crops by delivering low intensity microwave heating to make up any net heat lost during a freeze event. Paramount Citrus will provide the test crop and power for at its location in Vasaila, CA.
Raytheon intends to market its system for the 2008-2009 season. It occurred to Raytheon last month that it needed to prove the system this season before marketing it next season.
The test setup is described as follows:
The test setup will consist of 4 towers at the corners of a 30 meter x 30 meter area within the orchard. Each tower is 10 meters tall and will have 4 identical transmitter/antenna combinations at the top. (There will be a total of 16 identical antennas/transmitters.) See figure 1 attached. The antennas are arranged, and the antenna patterns designed to uniformly illuminate the orchard and supply energy lost by the crop. The system should deliver energy directly to the crop during a freeze.
Our research shows that the crop needs small but steady energy input during a frost night. An analysis predicts an RF power density of 1.8 mW/cm2 at the tree tops within the test area. Tests inside a shielded will be performed assess various parameters of the equipment/configuration in preparation of the outdoor field test.
If successful, it could be good news to the citrus farmers.
Test will be conducted between January 10, 2008 and April 30, 2008. It should be far away enough in frequency (2.45 GHz) to not interfere with satellite radio.
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