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Design of an In-Canopy Sprinkler Monitoring System for Center Pivot Irrigation

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

Citation:  2018 ASABE Annual International Meeting  1801391.(doi:10.13031/aim.201801391)
Authors:   Aaron A. Akin
Keywords:   Center Pivot, In-canopy sprinkler, Irrigation, Monitoring System

Abstract. Current in-canopy sprinkler packages allow center pivot irrigation systems to operate more efficiently and uniformly, however, these in-canopy sprinklers hang low in the canopy and have the potential to become entangled in crop biomass and detach from the center pivot. Detached in-canopy sprinklers can impact the uniformity of an irrigation system resulting in decreased crop yields by disrupting the flow and pressure requirements of the sprinkler package. Therefore, it is crucial that producers detect and replace missing in-canopy sprinklers immediately. A prototype in-canopy sprinkler monitoring system was designed to monitor in-canopy sprinklers on a center pivot irrigation system and to alert the user when and where an in-canopy sprinkler becomes detached from the center pivot span. The system utilizes three major components to accomplish this task: a master controller node, a series of sprinkler nodes, and a digital compass node. The master controller node requests the status of in-canopy sprinklers from each sprinkler node, which constantly monitors its connected in-canopy sprinkler. If a sprinkler is found to be absent, the system alerts the user via a text message that the in-canopy sprinkler is missing and can be found at approximate geographic coordinates. Performance trials revealed the monitoring system to operate efficiently and accurately, however, minor changes need to be employed before large scale implementation.

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