The Next Generation of Irrigation

Title The Next Generation of Irrigation
Authors Rakibul Islam Dinar, Sk. Ibtesham Ahmed, A. S. M. Foysal
Semester Fall, 2015

s2g7p1In the mid-20th century, the advent of diesel and electric motors led to systems that could pump groundwater out of major aquifers faster than drainage basins could refill them hence revolutionizing the whole irrigation system and paving a path for modern technology to play its part in it. In this project we propose an irrigation system that comes in par with the development in technology. Incorporating a microcontroller, a soil hygrometer and a weather sensor, we have developed a relatively low cost irrigation system that would be completely self-sustaining and require almost no human intervention.

For the system to meet our criteria, we need to integrate a soil hygrometer and a weather sensor (namely barometric sensor). The sensors will collect data periodically and feed it to the central computer, where the data is processed and the decision is made “when” and “if” to turn the watering system on. The soil moisture sensor would monitor the present state of the soil and the weather sensor to determine the prospects of future rainfall. Taking data feed from the sensors, the central computer will be programmed to turn the switch on if the levels fall below a certain threshold.  For instance; depending on the texture of the soil, if the soil moisture level fall below 1ml/cubic inch, the central computer would request an immediate feed from the barometric sensor, checking to see whether it is going to rain in the next four hours or so, if the system has adequate evidence that points towards rainfall in the recent future, the system will not trigger the switching mechanism. However, after checking the determinant factor, if the computer gets no evidence from the sensor about any rainfall, the system would be turned on and automatic Irrigation would begin.

Green LED indicates that the soil moisture content is low and this would trigger the pump motor to turn on. The yellow LED shows that the water content of the soil is at an optimum level. Red LED indicates that the moisture content is too high.