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A Site-Specific Irrigation Control System

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  031129,  2003 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.13740) @2003
Authors:   Fabio Rodrigues de Miranda
Keywords:   automated irrigation control, microirrigation, spatially-variable irrigation, distributed control

The development and testing of a low-cost, low-power, closed-loop, distributed irrigation control system for site-specific irrigation is presented. The system used soil water potential measurements to control the amount of water applied to each specific zone of a field. Hydraulic pressure measurements and priority scheduling were used to allocate water resources among irrigation controllers. The controller hardware consisted of a microcontroller, time keeping and data storage devices, and an A/D converter. The controller was autonomously powered by a solar panel and a battery, minimizing maintenance and eliminating inter-wire connections.

The irrigation control system proved to be effective in maintaining the soil water potential in the root zone close to a predetermined set point, and within an adequate range for crop development during the evaluation period. Performance of the priority scheduling approach for water allocation among irrigation controllers was satisfactory, with irrigation of specific zones always occurring according to the preset priority rank, and under adequate operating pressure.

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