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Special Session: Sensor applications in Agriculture and Biology

Sensors in agriculture and biology are playing more important roles today than ever before. Sensors can play an important role both in the pre-harvest and post-harvest processes of various agricultural commodities such as grain, nuts, fruits and vegetables. Importantly, sensors provide the means for rapid, and nondestructive testing of various grading factors of the agricultural materials. Knowing the nutritive and health values of food materials has become important to the consumer and most of these parameters are still determined by laborious and costly chemical methods. Sensors have the great potential to do this fast and less expensively.

During the post-harvest stage, sensors have even more impressive role in processes such as drying, milling, storage, processing, packing and transportation. Sensors are being developed and tested for the determination of factors such as moisture (it is important to know at various stages of product development), texture, composition, and shelf-life. By replacing the conventional chemical methods sensor applications minimize the environmental impact, and being rapid and nondestructive are proving to be economical.

Most of the sensor systems, electronic or optical are of non-contact type, and thus are suitable to use with food materials. Sensors are also being extensively used in agricultural machinery and for monitoring biological activity and plant health.

Papers related to the following topics (but not limited) are solicited for this session:

  1. UV, Visible, NIR and IR sensing
  2. Capacitive sensing
  3. RF and Microwave sensing
  4. Biosensors
  5. Sensor development and manufacture. 


Dr Chari V. Kandala

Kandala’s Resume:  

Chari V. Kandala received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Physics from the Andhra University and the Indian Institute of Technology respectively. He received another M.S. in Physics, and Ph.D. in Biological and Agricultural engineering in 1992 from the University of Georgia.

He worked as an Assistant Professor in Physics at the G.B.P. University, Pantnagar, India, from 1968 to 1975, and as a Senior Engineer in Electronics and Instrumentation at ICRISAT, Hyderabad, India from 1975 to 1983. Since 1985 he has been associated with the Agricultural Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture working on nondestructive measurement of moisture content in food materials using RF Impedance methods. Since 2001 he is working with the National Peanut Research Laboratory at Dawson, Georgia in developing optical and electronic instrumentation for grain and peanut quality measurements using RF and NIR methods.

Dr. Kandala is a member of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, The International Society for Optical Engineering, and a Senior-member of the IEEE. He has published over 45 peer-reviewed manuscripts and holds a patent for the dielectric method he developed for determination of moisture content in nuts and seed.