The ITAP Joint Research Unit (JRU) includes IRSTEA’s TEMO Research Unit (Montpellier Technologies) and the Montpellier Agro Sup Rural Engineering Chair.
The ITAP research unit
For the purpose of building better agricultural equipment for more sustainable practices and environmental services, the ITAP JRU is developing the following scientific and technical databases:
- Information and associated systems: optical sensors (vision, spectrometry) have been developed to characterise agrosystems and environmental processes as well as decision-support systems by creating new indicators for professionals while exploiting land, climatic and professional data to diagnose the condition of agro-ecological systems;
- Technologies: to develop ecotechnologies for sustainable agricultural production. New design methods which integrate environmental constraints have been studied: eco-evaluation, eco-design, integrated design. The ITAP JRU is especially working on equipment to protect and maintain cultures to limit the impact of pesticide-application techniques on health and the environment. It is directing the regional platform entitled "Ecotechnologies for agricultural bioprocesses" and is a reference centre for agricultural spraying;
- Environmental evaluation: the JRU is developing and implementing tools to evaluate environmental and social impacts based on life-cycle analyses with the purpose of perfecting the procedures. It is directing the ELSA Pole ACVistes network.
The ITAP JRU is associated with the UMII “Process Sciences – Food Science” and “Information, Structure, Systems” doctorate programmes. The UMR ITAP is very involved in building industrial relationships and is encouraging the creation of businesses through its MINEA hosting platform.
JRU research focus
The JRU is organised along 4 lines of research:
- Environmental evaluation
- Optical sensors
- Dispersion fragmentation
Education and training courses
- Montpellier SupAgro
Examples of results and products
INSPIRE research topic
- A review of the principal methods for the induction of fuzzy rules in accordance with the interpretability criteria.
- Orthogonalisation of a PLS with respect to influence impact: application to independent measurement of temperature based on fruit sugar content.
- Recognition of leaves in natural complex scenes by a contour-mapping model.
- FISPRO software: design and optimisation of fuzzy inference systems. IRSTEA-INRA free software.
- Robustness of multi-varied calibration performed using near-infrared spectrums in industrial conditions: application to the sorting of agricultural products (Fabien Chauchard thesis)
- Implementation of new spray-control installations and associated procedures
- Digital modelling of phytosanitary product storage
- Atomisation of agricultural sprays: influence of certain liquid properties
- Influence of the quality of phytosanitary sprays on the transfer of pesticides in the environment
- Derivation of phytosanitary products applied to the vine: full-scale testing in controlled environments
- Estimation of phytosanitary product air emissions during spraying (Yvan Gil-Pinto thesis)
- DRIFTX model for the air transfer of pesticides during application of phytosanitary products on vines
- Ticsad software for pesticide traceability
- Eco-design and development of innovative manufacturing methodologies for spreading machines
- Life-cycle analysis of waste-water treatment systems
Involvement in research programs
- The European project RHEA – design, development and testing of a new generation of automated and robotic systems for the application of chemical and mechanical treatments for the destruction of forest and agricultural adventives;
- The European project LIFE IMCM – for mosquito eradication operations conducted by Interdepartmental Mosquito Eradication Agreement (EID) including an inventory of spreading systems in order to propose technical improvements to optimise land equipment;
- OPTIBAN Project – to evaluate pesticide-drift phenomena due to aerial spraying of banana plantations in the Antilles and to propose land-based alternatives;
- ECOSPRAYVITI Project – to develop methods and thresholds to characterise the ability of sprays to “optimise” the use of phytosanitary products, to reduce environmental impacts and to encourage manufacturers to develop effective, innovative ecotechnologies.
- Vinnotec Project, Development of information and communication technologies to respond to wine industry issues.
- INCA Project – Development of equipment and methods to measure the volume concentration of carbon in the soil using near-infrared spectrometry directly applicable in the field
- Demether Project – Development of biosourced materials from agricultural by-products for the thermal insulation of existing buildings.
- Pomewiso Project – Polymer membrane development without organic solvents
- The European project Sudoe Interreg Ecotech Sudoe- Réseau International is analysing life-cycles and eco-designs for innovative ecotechnologies.
- Copoterm Project – Co-polymers for water treatment and metal recovery.
- CEMAGREF Research Action Project 24-Environmental analysis of life-cycle of water treatment systems.
- Novinpak Project – Ecodesign of innovative packaging for quality wines
- Ecotool Project – Improving life-cycle analysis tools for sustainability assessment in forestry, agriculture and environment technologies.
- Ecotech-LR Project “Eco-technologies for Agricultural Bioprocesses” regional platform.
- Ecodefi Project ECOdesign and development of innovative manufacturing methodologies for spreading machines.
The ReducPol experimental spray platform is 1 of 4 in the regional platform entitled "Ecotechnologies for agricultural bioprocesses"
- 400 m² of laboratory space (physico-chemical, opto-electronic vision, mechatronics, biodegradability)
- UV-visible spectrometers , near-infrared
- Imaging and image-processing equipment
- Hyper-spectral and multi-spectral vision benches
ReducPol platform with 3000 m² for the evaluation of spray systems
- Large-scale experimental wind-tunnel to study drift
- Large-scale measurement bench for under-rail distribution
- Closed room with mobile truck to study phytosanitary products
- Laser granulometry/velocimetry
- Complete metrological equipment for the evaluation of agricultural sprayers
- ACV software