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Remote Sensing and Control of an Irrigation System Using a Distributed Wireless Sensor Network

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3 Author(s)
Yunseop Kim ; U.S. Dept. of Agric.-Agric. Res. Service, Northern Plains Agric. Res. Lab., Sidney, MT ; Robert G. Evans ; William M. Iversen

Efficient water management is a major concern in many cropping systems in semiarid and arid areas. Distributed in-field sensor-based irrigation systemsoffer a potential solution to support site-specific irrigation management that allows producers to maximize their productivity while saving water. This paper describes details of the design and instrumentation of variable rate irrigation, a wireless sensor network, and software for real-time in-field sensing and control of a site-specific precision linear-move irrigation system. Field conditions were site-specifically monitored by six in-field sensor stations distributed across the field based on a soil property map, and periodically sampled and wirelessly transmitted to a base station. An irrigation machine was converted to be electronically controlled by a programming logic controller that updates georeferenced location of sprinklers from a differential Global Positioning System (GPS) and wirelessly communicates with a computer at the base station. Communication signals from the sensor network and irrigation controller to the base station were successfully interfaced using low-cost Bluetooth wireless radio communication. Graphic user interface-based software developed in this paper offered stable remote access to field conditions and real-time control and monitoring of the variable-rate irrigation controller.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement  (Volume:57 ,  Issue: 7 )