Laboratory

The Research Group and the Crop Protection Technology Laboratory.

DISAFA is divided into several units, including the Agricultural Engineering Unit (formerly known as the Agricultural Mechanics Section until 2012). Within the Agricultural Engineering Unit, the Crop Protection Technology Research Group has been operating since 1996. The research group’s efforts have led to advancements in sprayer equipment, enhanced operator safety, and minimized environmental impact associated with the distribution of crop protection products.

The Research Group, coordinated and directed by Prof. Fabrizio  Gioelli (previously founded by Prof. Paolo Balsari and under his coordination and direction until 10/31/2021), comprises university professors, researchers, technicians, Ph.D. students and fellows. It operates within the CROP PROTECTION TECHNOLOGY LABORATORYan extensive indoor facility spanning approximately 600 m². Thanks to its state-of-the-art equipment and instrumentation the laboratory has become a leading reference in Europe within its field. 

Furthermore, the Research Group has access to a 250 m² tunnel and an outdoor test area, which includes a portion of a vineyard spanning approximately 3500 m². In 2022, a new covered structure of 1200 m² was constructed within this area. This structure enables various tests, such as evaluating potential drift generated by spray booms and characterizing sprayer throw for tree crops, without the interference of uncontrollable atmospheric conditions (e.g., wind, humidity). Additionally, it serves as a venue for training and demonstration activities, especially in inclement weather conditions.

Vista con drone del Disafa e degli spazi usati dal laboratorio CPT

Access to laboratory rooms

Access to the laboratory rooms (including the outdoor shed) is permitted only to individuals explicitly authorized by the department director. All faculty, technicians, fellows, Ph.D. students, thesis students, and attendants associated with the agricultural engineering unit are considered authorized. DISAFA students, visitors, and personnel from other DISAFA units, as well as private firms/entities conducting research activities in collaboration with laboratory personnel, may enter the rooms only when accompanied by authorized personnel.

Visitors may enter only designated areas where no mechanical work or experimental activities involving the use of machines and equipment are being conducted. They may approach work areas only for exceptional reasons and after using appropriate protective equipment.

Access to the laboratory outside DISAFA’s official opening hours is allowed with permission from the Head of Laboratory Teaching or Research Activities (RADRL) and/or the Laboratory Director or Deputy Director.

Personnel from external agencies assigned to conduct security checks or maintain and repair premises or equipment may access the laboratory only when accompanied by authorized personnel.

Cleaning personnel have unrestricted access to the premises and must adhere to the Single Document for Risk Assessment from Interference prepared by the University.

The laboratory rooms remain closed when there is no teaching or research/experimentation activity taking place.

While personal protective equipment is not mandatory for accessing laboratory premises, appropriate clothing should be worn, avoiding garments that can snag and slippery footwear.

General conduct rules in the laboratory

Smoking, eating, taking unauthorized photographs, moving and/or removing materials, and engaging in behavior that jeopardizes one’s safety or that of others are strictly prohibited inside the premises.

Visitors must stay in close proximity to laboratory personnel throughout their visit and follow their directions. They are also required to maintain confidentiality regarding any evidence and materials observed during the visit.

Attention should be paid to equipment, facilities, and signage within the laboratory. In case vehicles obstruct passage areas, they should be marked with suitable high-visibility tape. If such tape is not present, always follow provided directions.

The laboratory premises are equipped with fire emergency equipment, exits, passageways, and safety signage. In the event of a fire or any other accident, please follow the instructions of laboratory personnel.

Handling equipment carries the risk of accidents due to potential shifting or falling of transported materials. Visitors should exercise caution when moving around, including within transit areas, considering the possibility of equipment and machinery passing through.

High sound pressure levels, especially in the vicinity of operating tractors or spraying machines, require anyone passing through or standing nearby to wear suitable personal hearing protection equipment (ear protectors).

The use of all equipment on-site is strictly reserved for laboratory personnel or individuals authorized by the laboratory (e.g., personnel from other units of DISAFA, private firms/entities conducting research/experimentation activities in collaboration with laboratory personnel). Therefore, please refrain from touching any equipment, and if assistance is needed, kindly ask the staff present.

In the laboratory, it is mandatory to always adhere to the safety protocols provided by the accompanying staff and to use personal protective equipment (PPE) when necessary.

These instructions apply to all areas belonging to the laboratory (e.g., the green shed located on the ground in front of the agricultural engineering unit).

Main activities

Mass balance assessment (indoor)
Drift testing on seeding machines
Atomizer range check
Target coverage assessment
Training
Measure air speed and direction
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