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Livestock and poultry industries play an important role in the food supply and economy of US agriculture. To meet the growing demand for food and to be economically competitive, animal production over the past decade has grown toward confined, highly concentrated, and large-scale facilities. While structural development and facility mechanization have enabled housing the growing number of livestock, environmental sensing and control have not seen similar growth. Scientific data on indoor environment control, air emissions, and effectiveness of mitigation technologies are limited but urgently needed. Measurement technology has been a limiting factor in the acquisition of sufficient data.

Research is needed to identify enhanced methodologies to monitor the indoor environment and air quality of animal production facilities. This project developed and evaluated a novel method of environment monitoring in animal production facilities. Controller area network (CAN bus) nodes were developed, and their ability to transmit sensor data over the long distances common to livestock facilities was evaluated. It was found that bus rates of 100 kbits/s or less can accurately deliver CAN messages up to 600 m on a continuous basis. At data bus rates of 250 kbits/s, the maximum transmission distance was reduced to less than 300 m. CAN bus systems tested at a poultry production facility performed well in transferring data, were extremely easy to install, and allowed for rapid expansion if needed. This distributed network was also very simple to remove upon the completion of the project and resulted in no permanent damage to the test facilities.

Units: SI

Citation: ASHRAE Transactions, Vol. 113, pt 1, Dallas 2007