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  • 1. Development of compact Agri-server Ryosuke SUGANO1, Kazuya KANDA1, Tadashi ISHII2 1Tsuruoka National College of Technology(Tel: +81-235-25-9095; E-mail: 2 Jisedaitech L.P(Tel: +81-42-782-9317; E-mail:—In the realm of agriculture, it is important to concept. Although the AS inherits its designprinciple fromeasily be able to monitor the natural environment and the the Field Server, it was developed on the basis of investiga-growth of crops. Stable measurement over a long period tions by ALFAE with the aim of developing a product forof time and wide area is also important. Agri-Server is widespread use that reflects advances in information tech-one approach to this. Agri-Server is a piece of equipment nology. Specifically, the AS is a piece of equipment equippedequipped with sensors to measure the natural environ- with numerous sensors to measure the natural environment,ment such as meteorological data and soil data. It also has such as to collect meteorological and soil data, and it hasserver and wireless communication functions and net- server and wireless communication functions and networkwork camera connectability for image acquisition. In this camera connectability for image acquisition. In addition topaper we report on the construction of field monitoring having the same functions as the Field Server, the AS has thesystems using Agri-Server in the Shonai region as well as following features in order to fulfill the required specifica-a miniaturized prototype. tions of a field monitoring system. The above-mentioned features were added to the AS design with the intention of Index Terms—field monitoring,Agri-Server,hybrid power providing improved resistance to the environment, increasedgeneration,compact Agri-Server, Arduino system stability, and better accuracy of sensor data to allow widespread practical use on cultivated land. In this paper we I. INTRODUCTION report on the construction of field monitoring systems using AS in the Shonai region as well as a miniaturized prototype. Recently, a great deal of research into the utilization of In-formation and Communication Technology (hereinafter, II. MONITORING SYSTEMICT)in agriculture from the perspective of scientific trans-mission of agricultural technology is being carried out. In the 2.1 Agri-Serverrealm of agriculture, it is important to easily be able to mon- The body of the AS is mainly composed of a main CPUitor the natural environment and the growth of crops. Stable board, LCD panel, sensor boards and wireless LAN equip-measurement over a long period of time and wide area is also ment. Its main software configuration is a sensor data col-important. lection program, FTP server, SSH server, CRON, data However, field monitoring is difficult to perform because transfer and time synchronization, etc. It is loaded with manyinstallation sites mostly lack infrastructure for providing sensors for information gathering in the natural environmentpower or networking capabilities and precision instruments and agricultural field and is called one of the sensor networksmust endure exposure to heat, cold, snow, moisture, rain, and for field monitoring. The main features of the AS units in-dust[1-4]. stalled in this study are as follows: Moreover, condition settings differ depending on the in- 1. Structure: An external housing and various sensors arestallation location and the crops being studied, and thus the mounted on a framed structure with ϕ48.6[mm] pipes.measuring equipment needs to be flexible and capable of The external housing is heat-resistant, waterproof andresponding to changes. So far, important research has been dustproofcarried out on Field Servers. 2. Sensors: Assmann psychometer, anemoscope, anemometer, The Field Server was proposed by Hirafuji et al. of the Na- rain gauge, solar radiation sensors, pressure sensors, soiltional Agriculture Research Center of the National Agricul- temperature, soil moisture, soil conductivity, soil pH,ture and Food Research Organization, and validation of the temperature inside the enclosure, GPS receiverField Server is progressing in many countries and regions. 3. Image data: Network camera, 32 megapixel CCD, pan tilt,The Field Server has been installed in such places as fields, zoom that can be operated remotely, audio input,rice paddies, and livestock barns, and is equipped with a Web still/video image captureserver to perform environmental measurement, monitoring of 4. Wireless communication: Communicable for 500[m] -animal/plant growth using images, crime prevention, and 1[km] depending on the external antenna and envi-remote control of hothouses/farm machinery in real time via a ronmentwireless LAN and the Internet. This system is used in agri- 5. Wireless LAN access point: Communicable with data in-cultural ICT consulting projects by the Area-wide put terminals in the field within 10[m] - 100[m] de-e-Laboratory for Food, Agriculture and Environment (he- pending on the external antenna and surroundingsreinafter, ALFAE). 6. System integrity: Monitoring of the temperaturewithin the The Agri-Server(hereinafter, AS) has been developed as an enclosure in two places and the condition of the forceenvironmental monitoring system based on the Field Server draft fan tube.
  • 2. 7. Transmission speed: Approx 1[Mbps]. The speed depends on the data communication terminals, so it is location sensitive.8. Power supply: Hybrid power generation system from wind and solar power9. Size: Radius 1[m], height 2[m]10. Control unit: Display capability with touch panel, real time sensor data display AS is a piece of equipment equipped with sensors tomeasure the natural environment such as meteorological dataand soil data. It also has server and wireless communicationfunctions and network camera connectability for image ac-quisition. A photograph of the AS exterior is displayed in Fig.1.2.2 System Constructions Fig. 3 Network systemThe network configuration diagram and equipment configu-ration are displayed in Fig. 2 and Fig. 3. AS: 4 units are eachequipped with wireless LAN and, with a directional antenna,are connected wirelessly with the omnidirectional antennaplaced on the roof of the store that directly sells local pro-duce ”Agri”(hereinafter, AGRI) from two field sites. InAGRI it is connected from the antenna to the wireless LANrepeater via a coaxial cable. The wireless LAN repeater isconnected to the router / wireless LAN access point with a1000Base-T LAN cable and connected to the internet througha data communicationterminal. Through the above Fig. 4 A Web page view on Web browser route, the UECS standard XML format file data sent from AS is stored in a data folder in a web server placed in the Tsu- ruoka National College of Technology.The web server func- tions as a database server and application server and converts sensor and image data to an SQLite database with Ruby and makes viewing from outside possible through a web browser with PHP script.The web page shows Fig. 4. Two AS units are placed in each field - the master station and slave station. Furthermore, the radius within 50-100[m] Fig. 1 Photograph of AS of the slave station becomes a wireless LAN access point and field information can be entered wirelessly with a DSiLL input terminal (made by Nintendo). As for the AS power supply, due to the difficulties in the use of commercial power, natural energy is utilized and power is supplied by a wind and solar power hybrid power generation system. A lead-acid battery is used as the electrical storage device. III. EXPERIMENT Four AS units were installed in a paddy, cherry orchard, nashi (Japanese pear) orchard and vineyard within the vicin- ity of AGRI in Tsuruoka City. Each field was located within a 1km radius of AGRI. Each lot of two AS units each with a 20[W] power consumption are powered by one hybrid power generation system, however due to the lack of sunshine du- ration the produced and stored electricity was not sufficient Fig. 2 System configuration of monitoring so the units were operated in the limited hours of 8am-4pm. Sensor and image data sent every 15 [minutes] from each
  • 3. AS unit was processed on the web server, made viewable, and Table.1 Specifications of the compact ASpartially disclosed to the relevant agencies. We could confirm Functions Specificationsthe functional stability in the sensor data acquisition, accu- Microcontroller Arduino UNOracy and transmission/reception of each AS unit. Sensors Temperature (LM61) Humidity (HIH-4030) IV. DEVELOPMENT OF COMPACT AS Anemoscope Because the four AS units were actually installed and stable Anemometerdata could be acquired even for snow fall and strong winds, Rain gagewe were able to confirm environmental resistance. However, Power supply Solar module (5[W])we realized that the following improvements were required Battery (12[V],9[Ah])for practical use and popularization while preserving the Communication XBee Pro Series2current stability: Others Controller 1. Low power consumption:Able to be powered with a few of charge watts by battery or small solar cell Size Height 1500[mm] 2. Miniaturization:Smaller than a radius of about 20[cm] and Width 300[mm] height of 2[m] as not to interfere with regular ride-on machine work such as mowing and pesticide applica- tion, etc 3. Wireless communication environment:Equipping of data communications terminals on all AS units due to the difficulty in maintaining a wireless environment in the field 4. Easy installation/removal: Security must be kept in mind for winter removal and spring reinstallationequipping data communications terminals 5. Web server: Utilizing a cloud or grid for the processing and access of a large capacity of data web server uti- lizing a cloud or grid 6. Other:Low price, easy usability, maintenance and inspec- tion, data file format, compact sensors, etcLow price So we tried to develop a compact AS using the Arduino. A photograph of a compact AS exterior is displayed in Fig. 5. Fig. 6 Network system of Compact AS prototype The Arduino is an embedded system that can be developed in The network configuration diagram are displayed in Fig.the environment with open source hardware and soft- 6.The compact AS measures climate data with sensors andware[5-7]. Hardware can easily be mounted on the basal plate the data is wirelessly transmitted to the main unit using XBee.XBee (Manufactured by DigiInternational) was used for the The master unit transmits the data to the server in the labor-wireless module and has extremely low power consumption. atory through a basal plate that is connected to the networkThe Specifications of compact AS are shown in Table.1. (Ethernet shield). Sensors connected to the compact AS monitor anemoscope, anemometer, rain gage, air temperature, and humidity. With PHP script, the server saves the sent data as a text file. These processing is done by “CRON” every 15 minutes.The server data can be accessed and viewed from an internet browser. There is also the capability of graph display, not only text data. The graph display was able to increase con- venience with the use of Google services. Actual measurements of air temperature were taken inside a laboratory. The measurement results are shown in Fig.7. By entering the date of the data to be browsed, graphical display is possible. Also, if the terminal has a Web browser function, data can be browsed without relying on the terminal. We have succeeded in constructing the aimed-for small, low-cost, low-power electrical system capable of implementing the Fig. 5 Photograph of the compact AS prototype required basic functions. Hereafter, we will investigate in- creasing the types of sensor. Also, we intend to take actual measurements outdoors and verify weather resistance, in particular snow resistance, as well as to acquire data. In the future we would like to develop the above result and pursue further examination of making the compact AS
  • 4. hardware and software open, creating a compact AS kit and spring 2011, we will seriously collect data and begin ex-the use of a website ”Pachube”. Pachube is the service which amination aimed at utilization. In cooperation with Agri wecan upload and peruse the measurement data of real time. will attain the ”visualization of agriculture”.Example of a pachube website is shown in Fig.8. Furthermore, we are going to push forward the development of compact AS that is low cost and low consumption elec- tricity. VI. REFERENCES [1] Tokihiro FUKATSU,Masayuki HIRAFUJI,“ Field Mon- itoring Using Senser-Node with a Web Server”Journal of Robotics and Mechatronics,Vol.17,No.2,pp.164-172,2005. [2] Tokihiro FUKATSU,Masayuki HIRAFUJI,“An Agent System for Operating Web-based Sensor Nodes via the In- terner”Journal of Robotics and Mechatron- ics,Vol.18,No.2,pp.186-194,2006. [3] Masayuki Hirafuji, Tokihiro FUKATSU, Hu HAOMING, Takuji KIURA, Tonami WATANABE, and Seishi NINOMIYA,“A wireless sensor network with Field-Monitoring Servers and MetBroker in paddy fields”Rice is life:scientific perspectives for the 21st cen- tury,pp.568-570 Fig. 7 A graph view at Web page on Google [4] Tokihiro FUKATSU, Takuho KIURA A.IMADA, and Seishi NINOMIYA,“Long-Term Monitering System using Field Monitoring Server”AFITA/WCCA Joint Congress on IT in Agriculture,pp.685-691,2004 [5] Takehito YAMADA,“Experiment system for a magnetic levitation control using Arduino microcontroller” Bulletin of Tokuyama National college of Technology, 34, pp.1-6, 2010 [6] Akira ITO, Hirohito MINOURA, Kiyoshi ISE,“Study of wireless temperature measurement system using Arduino and XBee modules”Bulletin of Suzuka National college of Technology, 44, pp.51-55, 2011 [7] Atsushi ENTA, Kousuke KIKUCHI, Jun NAKAGAWA,“ Fundamental research on architectural monitoring system collaborate with Arduino, Pachube and Sketchup”Journal of Asian Architecture and Building Engi- neering, 16(33), pp.791-794, 2010 Fig. 8 Example of a pachube website V. CONCLUSION Field monitoring systems using AS were first installed in thecold Shonai region where there is a lot of snowfall and ran on100[%] natural energy using a hybrid power generation sys-tem was for the power supply. They were equipped in October 2010 after almost all theagricultural produce had been harvested in all the fields. AfterNovember, there was an extreme decrease in sunlight hoursand there were difficulties in running for even a limited time.Furthermore, they were completely covered in snow duringwinter. Although we limited our testing to AS installation,data acquisition and web server setup; the confirmation ofstability was a great result. However several problems were identified for full scalecommercialization and popularization. Therefore, from