Continuous move irrigation systems have been modified since the 1990s to support variable rate irrigation. Most of these systems used PLC (Programmable Logic Controllers) technology that performed well for on-site control but were very expensive to add remote, real-time monitoring and control aspects that have been made possible by wireless sensor networks and the Internet. A new approach to the monitoring and control of continuous move irrigation systems is described. This system uses a Single Board Computer (SBC) using the Linux operating system to control solenoids connected to individual or groups of nozzles based on prescribed application maps. The main control box houses the SBC connected to a sensor network radio, a GPS (Global Positioning System) unit, and an Ethernet radio creating a wireless connection to a remote server. A C-software control program resides on the SBC to control the on/off time for each nozzle group using a “time on” application map developed remotely. The SBC also interfaces with the sensor network radio to record measurements from sensors on the irrigation system and in the field that monitor performance and soil and crop conditions. The SBC automatically populates a remote database on the server in real time and provides software applications to monitor and control the irrigation system through the Internet.
Precision Agriculture – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 24, 2009
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