The technology behind the SPIRIT™.
- Twin 4 cylinder 202 hp Diesel Engines
- One 525 Gallon Fuel Tank
- Ballast Tank
- Direct Track Drive
- Solid state Variable Frequency Drive Controllers
- Remote Wireless Control
- Dual APS Systems (Area Positioning System)
- Twin 150KW 3 Phase Alternators
- Multiple Modular Hydraulic Pumps and Hydraulic Valves
- SPIRIT™ Size: weight, square feet, cubic feet
- Four 4 pole AC motors
- Rugged 25” Ag Rubber Tracks
- Rugged High Strength Steel Lattice Frame
- Simple Modular Design
The diesel-electric drive system replaces the older diesel-driven mechanical system. The advantages of the diesel-electric drive systems are many, including: reduced maintenance, no transmission, and fewer shut-downs. Increased fuel economy and longer life are additional benefits. ATC estimates that with reasonable, routine servicing, the useful life of a SPIRIT™ tractor could approximate 25,000 hours.
We expect that the 520 gallon fuel tank capacity could allow the SPIRIT™ tractor to run continuously for approximately 36 hours. The tank is not only designed to allow the SPIRIT™ to run continuously for about 36 hours but is placed where refueling is convenient.
Part of the SPIRIT™ weight management system is a large ballast tank which can easily be used to change the weight of the tractor by adding or emptying fluid from this tank. By efficient use of this tank, the tractor weight can be increased or decreased by approximately 5,000 lbs.
A direct track drive eliminates the need for a transmission, a differential and an axle, all of which are expensive to install and to repair.
This drive technology tends to have these advantages over a mechanical drive system: no moving parts so it is quiet, relatively inexpensive and has a relatively long life span.
The SPIRIT™ eliminates the need for a physical driver. Instead it requires a “Controller”, ie., a person to monitor the SPIRIT™. Up to sixteen (16) SPIRIT™ tractors can be monitored in multiple fields from one control location. The control location must be situated less than 25 miles away from the movable or moving SPIRIT™ tractors. This means that multiple SPIRIT™ tractors can be monitored in one or more fields from one base station or one portable controller. A hand held controller provides for local movement of the SPIRIT™ tractor. The controllers are truly portable, being approximately 1.5 inches thick, 10 inches high and 3 inches wide. The buttons are large for easy viewing and use. The SPIRIT™ can also operate in a semi-autonomous “follow me” mode. It follows the driver of a pickup, four wheeler, a tractor, etc: two or more SPIRIT™ tractors can be run by one guy (or one gal).
The purpose of two APS systems is for reliability. ATC expects that navigation will be accurate to within one inch. The APS system is laser based, not satellite based. The APS system is designed for work in the fields. The APS system can operate in several modes to provide flexibility to the farmer.
The SPIRIT™ is small and transportable. At 102” wide, by 152” long, by 96” high, it maneuvers over fields and roadways. It has front and rear headlights. Pulling to the side of the road is much easier with the SPIRIT™ than with many larger tractors, and its size helps avoid problems with bridges, power lines and other obstructions that today’s massive tractors contend with on a daily basis. Additional weight (i.e., up to approximately 5,000 pounds) can easily be added and controlled by adding water to the 4000 lb. water tank and/or adding fuel to the 525 gallon fuel tank.
Two motors are installed on each track. Working with industry suppliers that provide high quality, off-the-shelf parts, ATC designed custom motors that use off-the shelf motor parts. The design of the SPIRIT™ is such that each motor has, essentially, a redundant counterpart. This is of significant benefit to the farmer: if one motor fails while in the field, the SPIRIT™ can easily be transported to a repair shop.
Rubber tracks have many advantages over tires. The ability to easily add and remove water from the ballast tank allows for deviation in ground pressure from approximately four psi to approximately six psi maximum ground pressure, which mitigates soil compaction problems that other tractors face today. The track tensioners will be hydraulic.
The tubular, steel lattice design will maximize the durability of the frame.
The modular design is simple. Other than the frame, all “parts” will be sourced from high quality, industry leading manufacturers who can provide high quality, cost effective, standard “motor parts”. This “assembly-model” (vs. ATC manufacturing) reduces the amount of capital required and provides the farmer with easy, reliable access for replacement components. This revolutionary, simple assembly-model means that for any given repair, the repair will generally consist of the farmer swapping one of the modules. The SPIRIT™ will have six (6) modules that are easily replaced. The design specification is that repairs can be accomplished in two hours with parts available.