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Towards Efficient Irrigation Management With Solar-Powered Wireless Soil Moisture Sensors and Real-Time Monitoring Capability

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Conference

2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Instrumentation Division Technical Session

Tagged Division

Instrumentation

Page Count

9

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/37921

Download Count

146

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Paper Authors

biography

Abhijit Nagchaudhuri University of Maryland Eastern Shore

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Dr. Abhijit Nagchaudhuri is currently a Professor in the Department of Engineering and Aviation Sciences at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. He is a member American Society for Mechanical Engineers (ASME), American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) and, American Society for Agricultural and Biological Engineers(ASABE) and is actively involved in teaching and research in the fields of (i) robotics and mechatronics, (ii)remote sensing and precision agriculture, and,(iii) biofuels and renewable energy. He has published more than 80 refereed articles in journals and conference proceedings. Dr. Nagchaudhuri received his baccalaureate degree from Jadavpur University in Kolkata, India with honors in Mechanical Engineering. Thereafter, he worked in a multinational industry for a little over three years before joining Tulane University as a graduate student in the fall of 1987. He received a master’s degree from Tulane University in 1989 and a doctoral degree from Duke University in 1992.

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biography

Madhumi Mitra University of Maryland Eastern Shore

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Dr. Madhumi Mitra is currently a professor of environmental sciences in the department of Natural Sciences at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. She is also the coordinator of Biology and Chemistry Education. Dr. Mitra is actively involved in teaching and research in the areas of biofuels and renewable energy; applications of algae in food and environment; and water quality. She has published several peer-reviewed articles in journals and conference proceedings, and is the recipient of various awards and competitive grants. Dr. Mitra received her baccalaureate degree from Presidence College in Kolkata, India with honors in Plant Biology, Geology, and Physiology. She received her master’s degree from University of Calcutta, India, and her doctoral degree from North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC in 2002.

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Travis Ford University of Maryland Eastern Shore

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Doctoral Student with a background in agricultural science, food science, and environmental science.

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Jesu Raj Pandya University of Maryland Eastern Shore

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Currently a doctoral student in Food & Agriculture Sciences, University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES),
MSc - Applied Computer Sciences at UMES,
BSc - Electrical and Electronical Engineering ( JNTU).

Interest in robotics and automation in food production and food safety.

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Abstract

Judicious use of water for irrigated agriculture is going to be paramount for sustainable intensification to meet the food demands within the realistic constraints of available land, water, and other resources. Water and nutrient use efficiency are the key goals of the ongoing efforts in smart agriculture led by the primary author at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES).

Recently a subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) system has been installed on a 15-acre farm at UMES. The SDI system has 20 zones for which the user can activate valves to turn the water on and off in the drip lines. In this paper, we will report the preliminary efforts in deploying a solar-powered wireless solar-powered soil moisture sensor network in the field. The network uses a cellular gateway to transfer the field data to the web. The data can be viewed in real-time on the web. The installation details and conditioning of the sensors will be highlighted. The smart farming research team is also looking into installing compatible rain gauges in the field and instrumenting the set-up for automated activation of the valves to turn the water on and off in the drip lines based on soil moisture readings. Online real-time monitoring capability proved useful for demonstrating the set-up to undergraduate students in the online junior level “Instrumentation course (ENGE 380)” offered by the author in fall 2020 using screen sharing capability of the Blackboard Learning Management System (BLMS). Two students attending the class have been involved in supporting a graduate student for the preliminary field deployment efforts outlined in the paper. It is anticipated the exposure will generate interest among other undergraduate students to participate in the extensive field instrumentation efforts in the ongoing smart agriculture program at UMES. In addition to exposure to smart agriculture field instrumentation, the students in ENGE 380 class also got hands-on experience with sensors and instrumentations take-home kit based on Arduino-microprocessor board.

At the time of writing this paper soil moisture and temperature data has been collected for over two weeks from more for more than three dozen sensors that have been deployed in the field in different zones of the 15-acre field for a preliminary trial. The field which uses corn, soybean, and wheat rotation, was growing soybean during the preliminary trial reported here. A six-band multispectral camera that simultaneously images in the visible, near infra-red, and thermal bands have also been flown on a DJI Inspire II drone to collect aerial imagery.

Nagchaudhuri, A., & Mitra, M., & Ford, T., & Pandya, J. R. (2021, July), Towards Efficient Irrigation Management With Solar-Powered Wireless Soil Moisture Sensors and Real-Time Monitoring Capability Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37921

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