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Meeting Wide-Area Agricultural Data Acquisition And Control Challenges Through Zigbee Wireless Network Technology

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

Citation:  Computers in Agriculture and Natural Resources, 4th World Congress Conference, Proceedings of the 24-26 July 2006 (Orlando, Florida USA) Publication Date 24 July 2006  701P0606.(doi:10.13031/2013.21879)
Authors:   Martin A. Hebel
Keywords:   Data communication, wireless, ZigBee, sensors, network

The nature of agricultural environments presents significant challenges in data acquisition and control (DAAC) that hinders both scientific research and process automation. Recent technological advancements in wireless mesh network systems meet these challenges and open the door to agricultural applications limited only to ones imagination. ZigBee, a wireless standard approved in early 2005, is gaining wide acceptance in home and industry automation, but the characteristics of ZigBee make it an ideal fit for meeting the challenges in agriculture. Devices may be placed hundreds of meters apart. The data and control information is relayed (routed) from device to device allowing very large areas to be covered. These low-cost, low-power consuming transceivers can be battery-operated for up to 5 years. Embedded microcontroller technology allows for easy sensor interface and intelligent programming. This paper provides information concerning the Zigbee specification, its benefits in agricultural use, and explores its implementation in theoretical and actual agricultural environments.

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