Creating a smart vineyard or orchard with Vinduino technology begins with deploying high-accuracy, LoRa-enabled sensors in each irrigation zone. Sensors are buried at two, three and four feet to ensure that water is only supplied to areas where there is an active root system, so no water goes to waste. Sensors communicate with a LoRa-enabled gateway, which can each handle up to 1,000 sensors and can cover a six-mile radius (or more, depending on line-of-sight). Each gateway communicates with a network – either a private network or an existing low-power wide-area network (LPWAN) - which share the soil’s moisture data to applications based in the Cloud. This application pushes the information to farmers who can then enable automated irrigation valves to release water at intervals to accurately meet desired moisture levels for optimal plant growth. LoRaWAN®-connected water meters provide accurate feedback about the volume of distributed water, and the condition (leak detection) of the irrigation system.
LoRa Technology makes it easy for growers to manage their vineyards. Implementing a Vinduino solution in the vineyard means growers have access to real-time soil moisture levels. Growers can manage their crops’ water levels independently and respond quickly if levels get below a certain threshold. Additionally, growers can automate the irrigation process. LoRa-enabled sensors detect which plants need water at what intervals, and optimize an irrigation schedule. An optimized schedule means more efficient water management, increased crop yields and cost savings on the water bill.
HOW IT WORKS
Vinduino technology enables wireless real-time soil moisture monitoring, irrigation optimization and agriculture management services.
1. Each irrigation zone (or valve) is equipped with a remote sensor station platform and soil moisture sensors at various depths. The resistive solid-state sensors accurately respond to the entire soil moisture range used for agriculture (0 to 70 kPa). At pre-set intervals, the sensor station measures soil moisture levels. The sensor station’s embedded LoRa transceiver sends a short message packet containing the data to any LoRa gateway within its range.
2. The gateway, designed for public or private LoRaWAN networks, supports up to 1000 sensor stations in a ten-mile radius.
3. The LoRa-based gateway connects to an Internet router or cellular modem to connect to the Internet.
4. The internet router then forwards the packets to the vineyard management application that resides either on a Cloud-based or dedicated server.
5. The turnkey smart irrigation and soil moisture management solution presents the sensors’ data on a web interface or mobile app. It can be customized to automatically open or close irrigation valves based upon readings and weather data.