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A Review of Center Pivot Irrigation Control and Automation Technologies

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

Citation:  5th National Decennial Irrigation Conference Proceedings, 5-8 December 2010, Phoenix Convention Center, Phoenix, Arizona USA  IRR10-9632.(doi:10.13031/2013.35832)
Authors:   W L Kranz, R G Evans, F R Lamm, S A O’Shaughnessy, T R Peters
Keywords:   Keywords: site-specific irrigation, distributed sensor networks, wireless communication, variable rate irrigation,

Abstract: Electronic sensors, equipment controls, and communication protocols have been developed to meet the growing interest in site-specific irrigation using center pivot and lateral move irrigation systems. Onboard and field-distributed sensors can collect data necessary for real-time irrigation management decisions and transmit the information directly or through wireless networks to the main control panel or base computer. Equipment controls necessary to alter water application depth to meet the management criteria for relatively small management zones are now commercially available from irrigation system manufacturers and after-market suppliers. Selection of the communications system for remote access depends on local and regional- topography and cost relative to other methods. Communication systems such as cell phones, satellite radios, and internet based systems allow the operator to query the main control panel or base computer from any location at any time. Recent developments in the center pivot industry have led to contractual relationships between after-market suppliers and irrigation system manufacturers that should support further development of site-specific application of water, nutrients and pesticides in the future.

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