Research

  • Home
  • Research
  • Dept. of Agricultural Engineering

Dept. of Agricultural Engineering

The Department of Agricultural Engineering

As a national agricultural research institute that develops technologies that can make agriculture an attractive industry that anyone wants to work comfortably in and provide better quality agricultural products to consumers, The Department of Agricultural Engineering conducts smart farm technology, production automation· robotization technology, energy saving technology for stabilizing farming management, quality control·processing·distribution technology for enhancing added value of agricultural products, farming production infrastructure technology and safety and health work for farmers.

Division of Smart Farm Development

This division has conducted Korean-type smart farming projects as follows : Agricultural automations, robotizations, and developments of ICT based smart farming technology suitable for environment and agricultural conditions in Korea.

Division of Energy and Environmental Engineering

We are improving the energy efficiency of agricultural facilities and machineries, enhancing the agricultural application of New and Renewable energy, developing the modernized model for agricultural facilities and optimized machineries for facility environment control.

Postharvest Engineering Division

This division has investigated and developed the postharvest machinery technologies such as processing, sorting, packing and storing of agricultural products for increasing farming incomes and producing the value-added products through constructing the infrastructure of producing facilities that massively and all-in-one process, sort, pack, and distribute the agricultural products from the origin.

Disaster Prevention Engineering Division

This division contributes establishment of safe foothold for agricultural production through researches such as development of utilization technology of agricultural machinery and relevant policy, safety improvement of machines and facilities in agriculture, and development of smart irrigation and drainage technology.

Upland Mechanization Team

Focuses on the development of seeder·transplanter·harvester that are insufficiently mechanized, improvement of performance of agricultural machines and development of whole process mechanization technology that can maximize mechanical effects by placing farming machines into the entire process of producing field crops.

Agricultural Health and Safety Team

This Team has been conducting studies and preventive activities for agricultural health and safety which are legally mandated by the act on 『Farmers and Fishermen’ Safety Insurance and Injury & Disease Prevention』. Production of national statistics from the survey of farmers' occupational diseases and injuries, operation of Central Database Center, evaluation and intervention of risk factors in work environment, cause investigation of severe injuries, production of education materials, and supports for national system for agricultural safety and health has been conducted.

Division of Smart Farm Development

has conducted Korean-type smart farming projects as follows : Agricultural automations, robotizations, and developments of ICT based smart farming technology suitable for environment and agricultural conditions in Korea.

1. Korean-type Smart Farm Technology

Korean-type smart farm technology is separated 3 generation models by tech-level as follows : 1st generation of convenience, 2nd generation of productivity, and 3rd generation of export-type. 1st generation model was completed in 2016, which one basic type and three alternate types have been disseminated. In 2017, to prepare for severance of agricultural knowledge along aging, bic data like the environment, growth information, yield and so on for existing farms have been gathered and analysed by artificial intelligence(AI). Based on this data, “Cloud Computing System”, the core technology of 2nd smart farm model which has been offering the information needed decision making has been built. Now, we are making effort to develop AI and big data analysis platform based on the cloud.

  • 1st generation model
  • 2nd generation model
  • 3rd generation model

2. Enactment of Group and National Standards for Korean-type Smart Farm ICT Equipments

Group standards of TTA for 44 livestock sensors and equipments and national standards for 22 greenhouse sensors and actuator interface have been enacted. Difficulties of farm have been solved in terms of following-up management of maintenance and troubleshooting through compatibility securement of smart farm ICT equipments.

3. Development of automation and robotization core technology for agricultural works

Autonomous robot platform for stable traveling and unmanned works at orchards has been developed. Autonomous navigation technology based on various algorithms like tree-row following, recognition of headland turn and obstacle detection, etc. has been developed. In present, we are proceeding improvement and advancement of the algorithm and robot platform through field tests in order to apply to various orchards.

4. Development of Smart Farm System Technology for Korean-type Oyster Mushroom

To develop a optimal growth model for precision cultivation of oyster mushroom, databases about temperature, humidity, CO2, intensity of illumination, etc. have been built and three smart farm models for remote growth environment management and control have been developed. It is possible to maintain the environment by same condition continuously regardless of outer situation change through management of inner environment, which can increases productivity and quality of the mushroom. Also, it is possible to grow the mushroom equably throughout precision control of temperature and humidity less about 1.5 degrees along to the position of hyphae in the multi-step mushroom cultivation houses.

Division of Energy and Environmental Engineering

has been developing the energy saving technology for stable management of farmers who are having difficulty in high oil prices. And, we mainly research on enhancing the warmth of farming facility, improving the energy efficiency of agricultural machineries and equipments, and developing application technology of new renewable energy in a farming field such as geothermal power and solar power.

1. Enhancing the New and Renewable energy for agricultural application

We have been looking for the energy in new resources such as geothermal energy, hydrothermal energy, and a microorganism fuel cell. We have been trying to construct an infrastructure for a green agricultural facility of "ZERO" fossil energy organically cooperated with each laboratory, develop and distribute an environment-friendly energy technique in the agricultural field.

2. Improving the energy efficiency of agricultural facilities and machineries

The research topics are to converge energy and environment technologies for rural area, to develop energy saving technologies for cooling and heating of agricultural facilities and to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases from agricultural machinery.

3. Developing the modernized model for agricultural facilities and optimized machineries for facility environment control

The research have been focusing on a new concept of agricultural facility for the agricultural facility's energy diagnosis & consulting, improving warmth & minimum warming up skill, and minimizing the input of energy cost.

  • Inter-seasonal cooling and heating system
  • Variable air-flow fan
  • Super precision grafting system

Postharvest Engineering Division

has investigated and developed the postharvest machinery technologies such as processing, sorting, packing and storing of agricultural products for increasing farming incomes and producing the value-added products through constructing the infrastructure of producing facilities that massively and all-in-one process, sort, pack, and distribute the agricultural products from the origin.

1. Agro-Food Processing System

Developing machines for the distribution of value-added agricultural products such as processing (stone remover, mill, grinder, seed separator) and sterilizing technologies (citrus sterilization technology based on atmospheric pressure cold plasma) to supply cleanly sorted and sterilized grains and fruits (rice, soybean, sorghum, millet, jujube, citrus and so forth), and technically transferred to a few producing enterprises which have expertise in manufacturing.

2. Agro-Food Quality and Safety Sensing

Developing technologies for quality and safety sensing of agro-food. We have developed non-destructive technology to identify the quality and origin of agricultural products and diagnose the infection of food poisoning bacteria. And, we have been raising agricultural food's value-added by application.

3. Cold-chain System

Developing machines and technologies to maintaining the freshness of agricultural products after harvest. Movable precooler for lettuce, CA (Controlled Atmosphere) storing facility for apple and pear, RF quick thawer, pallet size MAP (Modified Atmosphere Package) for strawberry and color changing sensors for fruit ripeness and temperature were developed. Supercooling storage, pallet CA storage and exporting package for mushroom are developing and dynamic CA for Korean agro-food is plan to be developed until 2021.

  • Sorghum mill
  • Strawberry quality sorting system
  • CA storing facility

Disaster Prevention Engineering Division

We conducts researches on the disaster prevention of agricultural production foundation such as efficient use of agricultural machinery, research on the improvement of agricultural mechanization policy, safety enhancement of agricultural machinery and facilities, and development of alternative water resource and smart irrigation system.

1. Research on the efficient use and mechanization policy

A guide for efficient operation of agricultural machinery lending project was published and distributed based on the survey and analysis. Statistics of machine utilization and mechanization ratio, which are essential for R&D, policy, manufacture, and education, has been producted and provided to public at the 'Korean Statistical Information Service (KOSIS)'.

2. Safety enhancement of agricultural machinery and facilities

It is dangerous to train safe operation with a real machinery, especially on roads and slopes. We have developed and plan to develop driving simulators for safety training based on virtual reality. Anti-disaster model of the Horticultural and Herbal facilities such as plastic green house, net, foundations, etc has contributed to mitigate the damage due to bad weather. We have 70 models currently and we plan to make additional 80 models species by 2027.

3. Development of alternative water resource and smart irrigation system.

We are working on sustainable agricultural infrastructures and climate change adaptation technologies. Recently developed researches are the computer-controlled automatic smart irrigation system for cucumber or blueberry field cultivation, the long-slope water harvesting in small stream and collapsible water pack for mid-mountainous small farm, and tractor attachment type mole-drainer for upland-crop cultivation in paddy field.

  • Power-tiller Simulator
  • Wind load test in a wind tunnel
  • Smart irrigation system

Upland Mechanization Team

has conducted various studies on developing agricultural machines for upland crop such as soybean, potato, garlic, onion, pepper, etc. Upland mechanization team consists of 3 research laboratories : food crop machines laboratory, horticultural crop machines laboratories Ⅰ and Ⅱ. Our researches mainly focus on development of seeder, transplanter, harvester and whole process mechanization technology for 10 major upland crops.

1. Mechanization of seeding, transplanting and harvesting

Upland mechanization team develops seeder, transplanter and harvester which are poorly mechanized work and require high labor input. In order to mechanize seeding work, we developed garlic, potato, soybean and radish seeder. Also, we developed sweet potato and pepper transplanter. Lastly, we developed soybean combine and cutter, potato harvester, etc.

2. Development of whole process mechanization technology

In order to mechanize whole process from seeding to harvesting and propose effective mechanization model to farmer, we conduct study on whole process mechanization technologies for major crops.

3. Development of required agricultural machinery on the site

Researches about minimizing and weight lightening of machines are conducted to cope with increase of women and aged farmers. We developed tractor which is able to adjust track width to adapt various cultivation patterns.

  • Seeder
  • Transplanter
  • Combine
  • Tractor

Agricultural Health and Safety Team

has conducted various studies and extensive preventive activities for agricultural health and safety as follows : Farmers’ occupational injury and disease survey, evaluations of agricultural health hazards, development of ergonomic convenience equipment and protective gears, and suggestions on relevant legal and policy systems.

1. Evaluation and Intervention of work Environment

To protect farmers from various hazards in farming environment, physical, biological, chemical risk factors in work environment has been evaluated and intervened. To enhance the work efficiency and farmer’s health, ergonomic equipment, personal protective equipment(PPE) and working tools have been developed. Also, various educational materials have been developed and distributed through Farmer's health safety information center (http://farmner.rda.go.kr).

2. Statistics of occupational health and safety

National statistics from the survey of farmers' occupational diseases and injuries has been produced. Central Database Center based on nation-wide hospital-based agricultural safety and health centers has been operated. Serious agricultural injury cases have been investigated and prevention strategies have been developed.

3. Safety and Health Policy Support and international cooperation

Supports for enactment and amendment of the Act on 『Farmers and Fishermen’ Safety Insurance and Injury & Disease Prevention』, establishment of national certification on agricultural health and safety, and international cooperations within Japan, sweden, USA, and other western countries have been conducted.

  • Central Database Center for agricultural health and safety
  • PPE for livestock farmers
  • Safety and health leraning program