Year of Publication


Document Type





Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering

First Advisor

Timothy S. Stombaugh


Through the work of researchers and the development of commercially availableproducts, automated guidance has become a viable option for agricultural producers.Some of the limitations of commercially available technologies are that they onlyautomate one function of the agricultural vehicle and that the systems are proprietary toa single machine model.The objective of this project was to evaluate a controller area network (CAN bus)as the basis of an automated guidance system. The prototype system utilized severalmicrocontroller-driven nodes to act as control points along a system wide CAN bus.Messages were transferred to the steering, transmission, and hitch control nodes from atask computer. The task computer utilized global positioning system data to determinethe appropriate control commands.Infield testing demonstrated that each of the control nodes could be controlledsimultaneously over the CAN bus. Results showed that the task computer adequatelyapplied a feedback control model to the system and achieved guidance accuracy levelswell within the range sought. Testing also demonstrated the system's ability tocomplete normal field operations such as headland turning and implement control.