Sensor technology analysis in the poultry environment

Partners:

Greengage Lighting Ltd and University of the West of Scotland (UWS)

Start date:

September 2016

Duration:

8 months

Project abstract

There is a growing need for higher intensity farming of livestock to satisfy increasing consumer demand, whilst also ensuring farming maintains high quality and ethical standards meeting public concern about animal welfare and health and safety of meat products.  It has been established that certain environmental parameters such as temperature, relative humidity, NH3, CO2 and CO have an impact on poultry’s health, welfare and productivity.

Currently, EU regulations require compulsory levels of environmental parameters to be met by producers and these are inspected during routine assurance audits. However, this method gives little assistance to ensure high production efficiencies and maximum profitability in real time.

Sensing within the poultry production environment is challenging due to the requirements for biological cleaning between flocks and potential contamination of biological waste and litter particles within the environment.  Electro-chemical based gas sensors have proven costly and unreliable and cannot be left within the shed for more than one turn.

Greengage Lighting Ltd. will work with UWS to create a multi-gas sensor based on optical absorption to simultaneously measure CO, CO2 and NH3, providing real-time data in a robust manner, capable of surviving for multiple crops within the harsh environment.

The long-term legacy of the project is the introduction of a multi-gas sensing technology that works in the poultry industry and can eventually be incorporated into a sensor based data collection, extraction and analysis system which enables sustainable production that addresses animal welfare, social concerns and economic efficiency.

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