FAQs

What exactly can be recorded with the Topsoil Mapper?

The TSM records mainly the depth (cm) of soil compaction and/or the depth of soil horizons, relative water content (%), as well as the texture (in soil classes). In addition, classic conductivity mapping (ECa or ECt, apparent or true conductivity) can be output at 4 cumulative depths.


What is the maximum depth at which the Topsoil Mapper (TSM) captures data?

The maximum recording depth while taking into account the device height of about 35 cm above ground is 1.1 m.


Are there limits to the speed?

Ex works we configure the systems for a recording speed of around 15 km/h – max. 30 km/h. However, higher speeds are possible.


Is there a recommended track spacing? 

We recommend maximum track spacing of 18 m. It is, of course, possible to increase the track spacing, but this causes the resolution to worsen.


Is there an optimum distance to the soil?

We recommend a distance to the soil of up to 30 cm. If circumstances require a higher installation, a distance to the soil of up to 45 cm is possible.


How often is calibration necessary? 

Calibration occurs during initial installation and is not necessary for each use. In order to ensure accuracy, however, we recommend annual calibration at the start of the season or after longer idle times.


How is the data presented/forwarded?

The data recorded is transmitted in various OGC (open GIS consortium)-compliant formats, such as *.shp, *.gtiff or ISOXML. Online data transfer from TSM to the implement is currently carried out as RS232 or CAN output. So far we have also supported the LH5000 and Bogballe protocols, based on customer requirements. 


How has TSM been used so far? Automation?

We support two options for cultivation:

  1. Offline (Basic version): in one operation a soil tilling map is created, which is processed in a later operation (cultivation) via a terminal;
  2. Online (Pro version): soil data is recorded and analysed (latency time approximately 8 ms) ‘on the fly’ and is then delivered to the implement for control.

Both versions run automatically - in version 1 calculation is performed via a cloud solution, in version 2 via our job calculator, which is installed in the tractor.


How is it different from other conductivity measurement devices common on the market?

The physical measuring principle of the Topsoil Mapper is electric conductivity. The following differences exist compared to common systems:

  • TSM is a multi-coil system: 1 transmitting coil Tx with 4 receiving coils Rx
  • TSM records soil parameters without contact during any process (for example, installed in the front hydraulics)
  • TSM is suitable for online operation - i.e., soil parameters are output immediately and can be used for machine control


Customer use in practical application?

The main benefit is that operating costs (fuel, wear) are saved because of the variable depth guidance. The analysed soil maps can be used as the basis for other application maps, such as sowing, fertilising, plant protection, etc.


What does the TSM cost?

We will provide you with the list price upon request. However, we attempt to provide our customers with a tailored offer and are therefore looking forward to hearing from you at tsm@geoprospectors.com.