Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Fighting Weeds with Laser Technology

No more chemicals for fighting weeds in professional gardening! A fully automated unit drives over a field, a camera recognizes weeds sprouting up and a laser beam takes care of the rest.

This science-fiction scenario is actually being researched at the Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) and the Institute for Biological Production Systems (IBPS) at the Leibniz University Hannover.

The main goal of the project supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG) is non-chemical weed control, one of the main goals of ecological and effective plant production. The basic idea is similar to flame weeding, in which heat is used to eliminate the weeds. However, this method burns out everything under the flame, and it is neither precise enough nor can it be automated. In comparison, a laser beam is precise and can be used to hit a sprouting weed, not affecting the plants around the weed. And “laser weeding” can be automated.

„The plant and laser experts have already carried out first feasibility studies concerning laser-assisted weeding” explains Christian Marx from the LZH. “The laser prevents the young weeds from growing, but the reasons for this effect are not yet fully understood.”

That is the reason why researchers in this project will first develop a weed damage model, in which the effects of the laser beam (output, wavelength, energy, beam form etc.) on different kinds of weeds will be investigated. Based on this information, a laser system will be set up. In the next step, an image processing system will be developed, which recognizes weeds on different terrains, and defines where the laser beam should be aimed, to be most effective.
Following this, the laser system and the image processing system will be integrated into a pilot unit, which will first be tested under simple, controlled laboratory conditions. Then the system will be tested in a greenhouse, before field experiments are carried out. Laser safety is also a concern, for the lab, greenhouse and field investigations.

The project will run until the beginning of 2012, and aims at weed control without the use of chemical for professional gardening. “The system is too complicated for use at home,” adds Marx. “I’ll still have to pull weeds up by hand in my own garden.”

Michael Botts | Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V
Further information:

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Forest Management Yields Higher Productivity through Biodiversity
14.10.2016 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Farming with forests
23.09.2016 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES)

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel light sources made of 2D materials

Physicists from the University of Würzburg have designed a light source that emits photon pairs. Two-photon sources are particularly well suited for tap-proof data encryption. The experiment's key ingredients: a semiconductor crystal and some sticky tape.

So-called monolayers are at the heart of the research activities. These "super materials" (as the prestigious science magazine "Nature" puts it) have been...

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Prototype device for measuring graphene-based electromagnetic radiation created

28.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Gamma ray camera offers new view on ultra-high energy electrons in plasma

28.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

When fat cells change their colour

28.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>