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A Remote-Real-Time Continuous Move Irrigation Control and Monitoring System
Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.orgCitation: Paper number 062162, 2006 ASAE Annual Meeting . @2006
Authors: Francis J. Pierce, José L. Chávez, Todd V. Elliott, Gary R. Matthews, Robert G. Evans, Yunseop Kim
Keywords: Precision irrigation, Variable rate application, Center pivot, Lateral move, Wireless communication
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 did a good job of on-site control but were expensive to add remote, real-time monitoring and control aspects made possible by wireless sensor networks and the Internet. A new approach to control and monitoring 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 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 sensors on the irrigation system monitoring performance and in the field monitoring irrigation soil and crop conditions. The SBC automatically populates a remote data base on a server in real time and provides software applications to monitor and control the irrigation system from the Internet.