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Development of a Pocket PC Surface Irrigation Decision Support System

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:10.13031/2013.21913)
Authors:   J.W. Hornbuckle, E.W. Christen, R.D. Faulkner
Keywords:   Surface Irrigation, Pocket PC, H/PC, Decision Support Systems, Nomadic Computing, Australia, Irrigation

Water use efficiencies with surface irrigation methods tend to be low and surface irrigation is the dominant irrigation method used throughout the world. With increasing demands for water from both environmental and consumptive users, improving the water use efficiencies of surface irrigation systems is critical. This paper describes the development of a Pocket PC based decision support system (IDSS) which has been developed for use by farmers in improving surface irrigation system performance.

At the heart of the IDSS is a kinematic wave simulation model capable of simulating the surface irrigation event in real time, in the field, while the irrigation is occurring. This portable system consists of two key components; a Pocket PC or SmartPhone device capable of running Windows Mobile and a GPS which will interface to these devices, e.g. Standard Digital (SD) or Compact Flash (CF) card or wireless GPS device. The IDSS application on the Pocket PC uses field based inputs of the advancing water front collected with the GPS. This information is then used in an inverse modelling algorithm to determine the soil infiltration characteristics which are then passed to the kinematic wave model in the DSS to simulate the irrigation event. Outputs from the IDSS, which include the volume of water applied, surface runoff volumes and measures of the efficiency of the irrigation event then allow the user to evaluate an irrigation event in real time and adjust management decisions to achieve optimum water use efficiency. The IDSS was developed using Microsoft Visual Basic 2005 and the .NET 2.0 Compact Framework using object oriented programming approaches. Implementation issues of the IDSS on the Pocket PC are also discussed and performance issues related to running such a DSS on Pocket PCs.

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