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Sensor for In-Situ, Wireless Soil Sensing
Category(s):
For Information, Contact:
Jay Bjerke
Commercialization Manager, Engineering
515-294-4740
licensing@iastate.edu
Web Published:
6/1/2015
ISURF #
4183
Summary:
Iowa State University researchers have developed a novel, self-calibrating sensor for moisture and nutrients in soil that has wireless transmission and reception capability, making it especially useful as a sensing node for applications that are distributed over a wide area.

Development Stage:
Prototype on-board sensors have been tested for soil monitoring applications using soil containing saline water and shown to have utility for measuring both soil moisture and ionic concentrations.

Description:
The advent of technologies such as GPS has driven the development of precision agriculture, which enables farmers to avail inter- and intra-field variations to manage resources and inputs so that costs and environmental impacts are minimized and productivity is maximized.  To help facilitate the management of important agricultural resources, ISU researchers have developed a self-calibrating, reliable and energy efficient soil moisture and nutrient sensor which can be buried at approximately root depth and is capable of wireless transmission and reception.  This sensor, which is based on the principle of impedance spectroscopy, can take real-time measurements of soil moisture and nutrient concentrations and transmit at frequencies much less than cellular, resulting in a much larger range.  The sensor is particularly well-suited for deployment as a node in a network of sensors that are spread over a large area, such as an agriculture field or drainage basin.

Advantage:
• Self-calibrating to ensure accurate and robust measurements
• Sweeps through large frequency range for better data reliability
• Enables in situ, temporal/spatial monitoring of soil conditions
Application:
Precision Agriculture; Environmental Monitoring; Underground to Above Ground Communication

References:
Patent Information:
*To see the full version of the patent(s), follow the link below, then click on "Images" button.

Patent:
Patent(s) applied for

Direct Link: