Due to the increasingly growth in population, it is important to better use natural resources for food production and efficiency, driving the use of sensors each time more to monitor several aspects of the soil and of the crops in the field. However, it is known that the harsh conditions of the field environment demands more robust and energy efficient sensor devices. One example is soil water monitoring for irrigation: Brazil, for example, consumes 69% of its freshwater only for irrigation purposes, which shows the need of using adequate water moisture sensors. Based on that, this work proposes a modular architecture that integrates several sensor technologies, including battery-less sensors and low power sensors for soil moisture measurements, but not limited to them. The proposed system relies on a mobile robot that can locate each deployed sensor autonomously, collect its data and make it available on-line using cloud services. As proof of concept, a low-cost mobile robot is built using a centimeter level accuracy location system, that allows the robot to travel to each sensor and collect their data. The robot is equipped with an UHF antenna to provide power to RF powered battery-less sensors, a Bluetooth low energy data collector and a Zigbee data collector. An experimental evaluation compares reading distance and successful rate of sensor location and reading.
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Modular sensor architecture for automated agricultural data collection on the field
Published: 14 November 2016 by MDPI in 3rd International Electronic Conference on Sensors and Applications session Applications
Keywords: precision agriculture; mobile robotics; sensor network; soil moisture