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Content archived on 2024-05-24

Portable electronic device for assessing cork development without tree damage


The Project overall objective is the development of an electronic portable device for the assessment of cork quality and characteristics without damaging the tree.

The research will focus in designing a potable electronic device prototype able to both measure and store measurements taken directly on trees. It shall be possible to take and store several measurements on one tree, in different seasons, and finally to store data on a PC. This will allow to analyse statistically production, growth and other biological parameters and to correlate them with bio-climatic data without any damage for the forest or for the trees.

According to the above paragraphs, project objectives is the Design of a compact electronic portable device to assess and record cork quality and oak cork trees growth and production.

The main characteristics of the electronic portable device should be the following:

- Capability to assess cork thickness and density in one single operation
- Capability to perform these operations without any damage to the tree
- Able to record several samples of one single tree and several thousand trees in accessible memory
- Connectable to a PC to download recorded data
- User-friendly operation, to be used by non highly trained personnel
- Portable, reliable and robust

According to the above targets, technical and scientific objectives of the project are the identification of the electronic components: circuits, pressure sensors, memory storage data, procedure, design and validation of a prototype able to provide information on the thickness and density/porosity (parameters that define the quality of the bred cork), without damaging the tree.

Work description:
The research workprogramme will consist in the following three main phases:

- Physico-chemical characterisation (electrical, mechanical, etc.) of the cork. The focus is to identify and connect the variables be responsible of these characteristics, and to relate them with the quality (porosity and density) and thickness.

- Based on the results of the previous experiences, to design an develop a technique providing a practical and reliable information about the thickness and quality of the cork. The technique will be able to take information directly in the field with no damage to the tree.

- Once several data on a single tree have been taken together with up to several thousand trees, the stored information will be download on a PC, allowing the analysis of results with the possibility of correlating growth (thickness) and density/porosity with other parameters, such as environmental data or exploitation policy.

- Field trials and validation of results through traditional methods. In this regard, the participation of cork technology institutes will be essential for the project validation.

Task 1 - Market Analysis
- Describe and segment potential markets
- Describe and define suppliers
- Business plan
Task 2 - Additional Partners
Task 3 - Novelty of the Project
- Search on patent file
- Scientific and technical Bibliography
- Overlook of methodologies: European projects under way
Task 4 - Phase II Workprogramme

Call for proposal

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EU contribution
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Total cost
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Participants (1)