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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Stoneville, Mississippi » Sustainable Water Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #357345

Research Project: Development of Sustainable Water Management Technologies for Humid Regions

Location: Sustainable Water Management Research

Title: Open-source wireless cloud-connected agricultural sensor network

Author
item Fisher, Daniel - Ken
item Woodruff, Lisa
item Anapalli, Saseendran
item PINNAMANENI, SRINEVASA - Oak Ridge Institute For Science And Education (ORISE)

Submitted to: Journal of Sensor and Actuator Networks
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/8/2018
Publication Date: 11/9/2018
Citation: Fisher, D.K., Woodruff, L.K., Anapalli, S.S., Pinnamaneni, S. 2018. Open-source wireless cloud-connected agricultural sensor network. Journal of Sensor and Actuator Networks. 7(4):47.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/jsan7040047

Interpretive Summary: Agricultural research involves the study of the complex soil-plant-atmosphere-water system, and data relating to this system must be collected under often-harsh outdoor conditions in agricultural environments. Rapid advancements in electronic technologies and widespread adoption of electronic sensing and communications have created many options to address the need for convenient data collection. Researchers with the USDA ARS Crop Production Systems Research Unit at Stoneville, MS, undertook a project to develop a monitoring system to measure soil-moisture and temperature conditions in field plots and upload the data to an internet website. The system included sensor nodes to read and transmit sensor data via radio and a gateway to receive node data and forward the data to an internet website via cellular infrastructure. The battery-powered sensor nodes cost $170 each and operated throughout the cropping season with little maintenance on a single set of batteries. The solar-powered gateway cost $163, plus an additional cost of $2 per month for cellular network access. Wireless and cellular data transmission were reliable, successfully transferring 95% of sensor data to the internet website. Application of open-source hardware, wireless data transfer, and internet-based data access offers many options and advantages for agricultural sensing and monitoring efforts.

Technical Abstract: Agricultural research involves the study of the complex soil-plant-atmosphere-water system, and data relating to this system must be collected under often-harsh outdoor conditions in agricultural environments. Rapid advancements in electronic technologies in the last few decades, and more recent widespread proliferation and adoption of electronic sensing and communications, have created many options to address the needs of professional, as well as amateur, researchers. An agricultural research project was undertaken to collect data to study effects on yield of different agronomic practices, with the objectives being to develop a monitoring system to measure soil-moisture and temperature conditions in field plots and upload the data to an internet website. The developed system included sensor nodes, consisting of sensors and electronic circuitry to read and transmit sensor data via radio and a cellular gateway to receive node data and forward the data to an internet website via cellular infrastructure. Microcontroller programs were written to control the nodes and gateway, and an internet website was configured to receive and display sensor data. The battery-powered sensor nodes cost US$170 each, including electronic circuitry and sensors, and operated throughout the cropping season with little maintenance on a single set of batteries. The solar-powered gateway cost US$163 to fabricate, plus an additional cost of US$2 per month for cellular network access. Wireless and cellular data transmission were reliable, successfully transferring 95% of sensor data to the internet website. Application of open-source hardware, wireless data transfer, and internet-based data access offers many options and advantages for agricultural sensing and monitoring efforts.