Bosch plans to test sensors on soybean harvester

agriculture (Pixabay)
Robert Bosch LLC applied for authority to test sensors mounted on combine harvesters in soybean fields.

International tool and equipment manufacturer Robert Bosch LLC is asking the FCC for Special Temporary Authority (STA) to test an automotive radar sensor at two separate locations in Wisconsin and Illinois this fall.

The tests are for the purpose of proof-of-concept testing in soybean fields, so it’s only natural they’re planning the tests during harvest season. Specifically, the application (PDF) calls for a period of less than two months starting September 25 and ending November 15, 2017. In each case, the sensors will be mounted on combine harvesters operated under the auspices of the John Deere Corporation.

The sensor is actually a Bosch Model MRRe14HBW, which is certified in Europe for manufacture, marketing, sale and operation, but it’s not yet certified in the United States; hence the need for the STA. The device operates in the 76-77 GHz band.

Plans call for deploying two of the sensors at each of two venues: soybean fields in Madison, Wisconsin, from September 25 through October 13 and in Annawn/Princeton, Illinois, between September 25 and November 15.

RELATED: Senet: LoRa offers advantages over cellular’s NB-IoT solutions

Agriculture applications are one of the big verticals for IoT. Senet, the largest LoRa-based network provider in the U.S., covers a large portion of California’s Central Valley. Bosch is listed as an adopter member of the LoRa Alliance.

Bosch is also awaiting FCC action on a pending application for testing of an uncertified RF composite device to be used to track shipped containers; it includes a GSM mobile cellular device, a GPS receiver and 802.15.1 wireless capability.

Called a Gateway, the composite device incorporates a GSM Quadband mobile phone and a GPS receiver, which also has 802.15.1 Bluetooth (2.4 GHz) capabilities. It’s to be mounted in transport containers with the purpose of tracking their location.

The company is proposing to deploy three of these Gateway devices in three different shipping containers to arrive at the harbor at Charleston, South Carolina, where the containers will be deconsolidated. The transported goods, including Gateways, will be transported by truck to their final destination in Florence, Kentucky.

Bosch last month was granted authority to use up to 6 Bosch Generation 5 radars in test cars to collect data on special points of interest around the U.S. The radars are installed in the front and in the corners of the car to sense the environment. It uses 77 GHz radar and evaluates the distance, velocity, strength and angle of the reflex. That trial is due to end by January 30, 2018.