• Share
  • Email
  • Embed
  • Like
  • Save
  • Private Content
WSNs & Agriculture
 

WSNs & Agriculture

on

  • 4,005 views

Gives an overview of the potential role of Wireless Sensor Networks in the field of agriculture.

Gives an overview of the potential role of Wireless Sensor Networks in the field of agriculture.

Statistics

Views

Total Views
4,005
Views on SlideShare
4,004
Embed Views
1

Actions

Likes
1
Downloads
153
Comments
0

1 Embed 1

https://www.linkedin.com 1

Accessibility

Categories

Upload Details

Uploaded via as Adobe PDF

Usage Rights

© All Rights Reserved

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Processing…
Post Comment
Edit your comment

    WSNs & Agriculture WSNs & Agriculture Document Transcript

    • Wireless Sensor Networks & Agriculture – A White Paper by Vertoda Copyright © 2009 Sykoinia Limited 1
    • Wireless Sensor Networks & Agriculture – A White Paper by Vertoda Copyright © 2009 Sykoinia Limited 2
    • Wireless Sensor Networks & Agriculture – A White Paper by Vertoda Please Read before reading this White Paper This white paper is not distributed under a GPL license. Use of this white paper is subject to the following terms:  This white paper is copyrighted by Sykoinia Limited. Copyright © Sykoinia Limited 2009. All Rights Reserved.  You may create a printed copy of this white paper solely for your own personal use.  Conversion to other formats is allowed as long as the actual content is not altered or edited in any way.  You shall not publish or distribute this white paper in any form or on any media, except if you distribute the white paper in a manner similar to how Sykoinia Limited disseminates it (that is, electronically for download on a Web site with the software) or on a CD-ROM or similar medium, provided however that the white paper is disseminated together with the software on the same medium.  Any other use, such as any dissemination of printed copies or use of this white paper, in whole or in part, in another publication, requires the prior written consent from an authorised representative of Sykoinia Limited.  Sykoinia Limited reserves any and all rights to this white paper not expressly granted above. For more information on the terms of this license or if you are interested in doing a translation, please contact us at info@vertoda.com. If you find a typographical error in this white paper or if you have thought of a way to make this white paper better please contact us at info@vertoda.com. Please note that this white paper is for informational purposes. Sykoinia Limited accepts no responsibility for any loss due to the use of this white paper. If you have any comments please email us at info@vertoda.com with your feedback. Copyright © 2009 Sykoinia Limited 3
    • Wireless Sensor Networks & Agriculture – A White Paper by Vertoda Copyright © 2009 Sykoinia Limited 4
    • Wireless Sensor Networks & Agriculture – A White Paper by Vertoda Abstract This white paper presents the potential applications Wireless Sensor Networks have in the field of agriculture. Copyright © 2009 Sykoinia Limited 5
    • Wireless Sensor Networks & Agriculture – A White Paper by Vertoda Table of Contents Glossary................................................................................................................................................... 7 1. Introduction ....................................................................................................................................8 2. Information Systems in Agriculture: The Current Status ................................................................9 3. The Agricultural Sector..................................................................................................................10 3.1 Crop Management ................................................................................................................10 3.2 Irrigation Management.........................................................................................................11 3.3 Environmental Monitoring....................................................................................................12 3.4 Animal Management ............................................................................................................13 3.5 Quality & Supply Chain Management...................................................................................13 3.6 Building Management...........................................................................................................14 4. Conclusion.....................................................................................................................................15 References ............................................................................................................................................16 Copyright © 2009 Sykoinia Limited 6
    • Wireless Sensor Networks & Agriculture – A White Paper by Vertoda Glossary DSS Decision Support System GIS Geographical Information System GPS Global Positioning System HVAC Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning MAP Modified Atmosphere Packaging WSN Wireless Sensor Network Copyright © 2009 Sykoinia Limited 7
    • Wireless Sensor Networks & Agriculture – A White Paper by Vertoda 1. Introduction When Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) initially emerged as a viable technology one of the first cited potential application areas was in the field of agriculture. However, agriculture is a vast area and can be subdivided into many fields of expertise. This white paper examines the different areas of agriculture and the role that WSNs can play in these areas. Research for this white paper was primarily carried out by meeting commercial and government organisations in the agricultural sector and by carrying out demonstrations of Vertoda and WSNs to these organisations. Copyright © 2009 Sykoinia Limited 8
    • Wireless Sensor Networks & Agriculture – A White Paper by Vertoda 2. Information Systems in Agriculture: The Current Status Decision Support Systems (DSS) are used extensively in agriculture, in particular, for Crop Management. DSS are used to monitor disease development such as potato blight and septoria (A fungal disease). Traditional sensors are used to takes metrics such as water flow and temperature. A key driver for many of these sensors would appear to be compliance, for example, water quality is monitored to ensure that rivers are not being polluted. Copyright © 2009 Sykoinia Limited 9
    • Wireless Sensor Networks & Agriculture – A White Paper by Vertoda 3. The Agricultural Sector The following broad categorisations can be used for the use of WSNs in the agricultural sector:  Crop Management  Irrigation Management  Environmental Monitoring  Animal Management  Quality & Supply Chain Management  Building Management 3.1 Crop Management WSNs can play a key role in crop management. Using Vertoda in conjunction with a WSN, disease development can be detected and monitored. For example, a timer is currently used to assess leaf wetness to detect the possibility of septoria. For many farming organisations, this data is not relayed by the timer. On the other hand if a wireless sensor were to be used to detect leaf wetness the data could be sent in real time to the farmer or decision maker. Temperature, humidity, wind speed, rain fall, light and soil moisture are just some of the factors that determine a successful growing season. The presence of frost and pests can result in serious effects on crop yields. WSNs can gather all this data in real-time and Vertoda can store and manage this information. Decisions can then be taken quickly to ensure an optimal response to changing climate and environment. One example of how crop management can be enhanced using WSNs is the project Accenture [1] carried out in the Pickberry Vineyard in Northern California. Using WSNs, calculated decisions were made on a vine-by-vine basis for assessing water needs and pests were detected in a timely fashion. The Accenture report also points out that WSN data can be combined with other data sources such as weather forecast data to predict the demand for water for the vines. Given the sensitivity of viticulture to climatic conditions, WSNs are clearly relevant here. However, WSNs play a key role in what is termed smart crops. Drought conditions are worsening in areas such as Australia. Wireless sensing solutions such as Vertoda can provide a competitive advantage to farmers by reducing labour costs, increasing yields, conserving water and improving quality. Crops such as fruit and nuts, vines, vegetables, grains and oil seeds, nurseries and floriculture would all benefit from management by WSNs. Glasshouse Crops, in particular, require extensive management. The correct levels of carbon dioxide, temperature and humidity have to be set and monitored. Clearly, this could be achieved using WSNs in conjunction with actuators. Nutrient supply for crops also requires management. Copyright © 2009 Sykoinia Limited 10
    • Wireless Sensor Networks & Agriculture – A White Paper by Vertoda In addition to climatic monitoring WSNs can be used to measure the density of leaves in crops Crop canopy can be used to determine the growing stage that the crop is at. The recording of this data over time can be used to predict when crop harvesting should occur and can highlight any unforeseen delays in the growing season. Another possible use for sensors is the reading of the colour of crops. There is currently equipment for this but allied with a WSN this information could be deployed to a central system in real-time. Moisture content can also be recorded as this affects price. WSNs can also facilitate Precision agriculture. Precision agriculture entails making the appropriate decision for the circumstances in hand rather than using a standard practice no matter what the situation. Precision agriculture requires spatial data. Technologies such as GPS, GIS and WSNs are used to assess and understand current conditions. Using this information, decisions can be taken regarding crop sowing and fertiliser dispersion and yields can be more accurately predicted. WSNs, then, can be used at every stage of the crop growing cycle. The optimal time for planting can be determined by monitoring climate and soil conditions and moisture concentration can be monitored during harvesting. Clearly, then, WSNs not only can enhance current practices but can also develop new ones such as smart crops and precision agriculture. Complex alert decision making would be useful in the agriculture sector. For example, if temperature and humidity occur at the different times an alert would be generated. At present, for example, a DSS for potato growers determines whether one should spray potatoes or not. The alert functionality provided by Vertoda can provide a much enhanced picture of the growing environment and can help growers gain a more finely grained view of their environment. 3.2 Irrigation Management Efficient irrigation management is vital for successful crop growing. Current best practice is to use time irrigation of crops i.e. periodically irrigate the crops. However, a WSN can facilitate monitoring of moisture levels for crops and, in conjunction with an actuator can take a decision as to when it is appropriate to perform irrigation. This method can reduce water use. In addition, over-irrigation of crops can lead to nutrients being leached from the soil. The judicious use of water only when it is required can help to prevent this. Different areas of an agricultural plot will have different irrigation requirements. WSNs, therefore, can facilitate the irrigation of a subsection of the agricultural area rather than a blanket irrigation policy for the entire area. Furthermore, given the flexibility of WSNs, which are, after all, ad-hoc networks, crop growers can deploy motes in specific areas when they are needed. Additional nodes can also be added so that an agricultural operation can expand their WSN as required. Copyright © 2009 Sykoinia Limited 11
    • Wireless Sensor Networks & Agriculture – A White Paper by Vertoda WSNs can also be used for water catchment areas. As its name implies, a water catchment area collects rain water or melted snow. Some agricultural organisations have mini water catchments that are used for research purposes. The base station for monitored water catchments would typically have a flow meter. In one organisation we spoke to, this base station monitored an area of 15 square kilometres and required one central repository for the data being recorded. In such a situation, a WSN could send the data to Vertoda for processing. Actuators would be required in conjunction with sensors for water catchment management. The reasons for the development of water catchments include the provision of water for a local population and the testing and monitoring of water quality. The latter is typically required for compliance purposes to ensure that farmers and local government institutions are complying with the law. Flow sensors are currently deployed inside and outside the pipes in water catchment areas. Using WSNs, both volume and direction of water flow can be monitored and the presence of pollution such as phosphorus and sulphur could be detected. This data can be delivered to end user in a timely fashion using Vertoda and WSNs. Moreover, the Alert Management functionality provided by Vertoda would be also useful for monitoring the water flowing on a surface. Irrigation management is particular relevant for horticulture. For example, both glasshouse crops and potatoes require irrigation management. 3.3 Environmental Monitoring Environmental monitoring is becoming an ever more critical part of the agricultural operation, both from a compliance perspective and from a customer expectations point of view. WSNs can be used for monitoring water and air pollution, for monitoring hazardous water disposal and for measuring ground dynamics such as glaciers, avalanches and moving ground. WSNs can also be deployed in remote environments and their data relayed to Vertoda using a cell phone, broadband or satellite communication. A key challenge for agriculture is soil degradation. Agricultural activities and overgrazing are two of the principal causes of soil degradation. One activity that can contribute to soil degradation is the spreading of fertilizer and slurry on agricultural land. Spreading time refers to the dispersal of slurry and fertiliser on agricultural land and the selection of the best time of year for the carrying out of same. A suboptimal spreading time can lead to soil moisture degradation and deficits. Furthermore, the nitrogen released from organic manure is currently difficult to detect. In addition to taking measurements, WSNs can also detect chemicals. Soil moisture degradation and the presence of chemicals can all be detected by WSNs and then relayed in real time to Vertoda. As well as degradation, soil moisture tension – how dry the soil is – needs to be measured. Currently this metric is measured by a tensiometer. As soil dries, its tension increases, and it becomes harder for the plants to extract water from the soil. The amount of energy a plant must spend to extract water from the soil is directly linked to soil tension. When soil tension becomes too great, plants can no longer extract water from the soil, even if water is present in the soil. This means that the water is simply not available to the plants, which react by slowing or ceasing Copyright © 2009 Sykoinia Limited 12
    • Wireless Sensor Networks & Agriculture – A White Paper by Vertoda their growth. For crop production, this can be costly, since the gradual daily accumulation of small growth losses can have a significant impact on crop yield at harvest time. Soil tension measurement, therefore, is required for good irrigation management. WSNs can relay this data in a timely fashion to ensure that plants and crops can access the water they need. 3.4 Animal Management WSNs can also play a role in animal management and animal health applications. For example, sensors can be used to determine when cattle are in heat. This is referred to as the estrous cycle. The real-time detection of when cattle are in heat would be very valuable for determining appropriate times for artificial insemination. The detection of diseases such as mastitis and other infections is another useful service that WSNs could provide to the farming sector. The tagging of farm animals has existed for many years. However, the monitoring of animal weight is an additional function that WSNs could supply. Given that the weight of animals is a key determinant of the price farmers and farming organisations receive, the monitoring of weight over time would be very relevant for decision making regarding feeding. However, there are some issues regarding the practical implementation of such a system. Sensors could also be used for the detection of milk levels. Oral emissions (methane) could also be measured. Furthermore, WSNs could also assist in the provision of a monitoring system for calving. A remote camera could provide video analysis and alerts to give real-time birth information. This could also be used for other farm animals such as sheep and pigs. Wireless sensors can also be used to monitor animal health. Larger agricultural organisations can have many animals dispersed in sometimes remote locations. Using WSNs, any problems can be relayed to Vertoda when they occur if animal are tagged appropriately. 3.5 Quality & Supply Chain Management Agricultural products often have stringent requirements in terms of temperature and humidity when they are being transported. In particular, for frozen and chilled goods, the chill chain is a key element of supply chain management in agriculture. Chilled and frozen foods need to be maintained at a constant temperature from the processing plant to the supermarket. WSNs are ideally suited for monitoring products in such a scenario. In addition to taking temperature, humidity and wind speed measurements to monitor the chill chain, WSNs can be used for fleet management to monitor vehicle speed and location using GPS. The condition of vehicles can also be remotely monitored using WSNs so that preventative maintenance can take place when needed. Containers for products can be secured using WSNs. For example, a motion sensor can detect when a container is tampered with. Another potential role that WSNs can play is in the area of Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP). MAP is the modification of the composition of the internal atmosphere of a food or drug package in order to improve its shelf life. In essence, the technique replaces oxygen with Copyright © 2009 Sykoinia Limited 13
    • Wireless Sensor Networks & Agriculture – A White Paper by Vertoda nitrogen or carbon dioxide so as to inhibit the growth of bacteria. This rebalancing of gases can be difficult to achieve and requires the measurement of the presence of these gases, a measurement that WSNs could certainly assist with. WSNs can also play a role in food quality. The presence of elements such as gluten or peanuts can be detected. Harmful elements that can be inadvertently introduced in the food chain can also be detected in a timely fashion. Shelf life can be extended by ensuring that perishable goods are kept at an appropriate temperature. More and more legislation is being introduced to ensure food quality and safety. Traceability of foodstuffs at every stage of the production process is required. Stringent conditions are set for the maintenance of products. WSNs can provide a solution to ensure compliance and Vertoda can recorded this data for traceability and legal purposes. 3.6 Building Management Farm Buildings and internal environments can be monitored using WSNs. Their security can be ensured by using motion and video sensors. The presence and health of animals in these building can also be monitored. Climatic conditions are vital for building housing animals and crops. WSNs can provide a monitoring solution for managing these buildings. Cost savings can also be made by ensuring energy efficiency and that light and heat are only used when required. Building management is a distinct field of application for WSNs. However the applications can broadly be defined as indoor environmental monitoring, lighting system monitoring and control, HVAC system control, energy consumption monitoring and building security and access control – all of which are relevant to agriculture. Copyright © 2009 Sykoinia Limited 14
    • Wireless Sensor Networks & Agriculture – A White Paper by Vertoda 4. Conclusion WSNs have wide applicability for agriculture. Crop, Irrigation and animal management are all enhanced by using WSNs. WSNs can also play a key role in the supply chain, quality and building management functions for agriculture. Copyright © 2009 Sykoinia Limited 15
    • Wireless Sensor Networks & Agriculture – A White Paper by Vertoda References [1] “Pickberry Vineyard: Accenture Prototype Helps Improve Crop Management”, http://www.accenture.com/Global/Services/Accenture_Technology_Labs/R_and_I/Pickberry Management.htm Copyright © 2009 Sykoinia Limited 16