Hi (first post),
Searching the term "precision viticulture" will yield links to how mature this area of agriculture has become, and will provide many use cases. (add the words "gateway", precision cropping, agriculture).
The term is used to mean a range of technologies from satellite photos, LIDAR mapping, drone mapping but of course includes sensor networks.
I have been monitoring this scene for a while and it seems ideally suited to ZigBee style wireless sensor networks, among other technologies.
I think LoRa will provide a much cheaper and efficient solution. It is possible to forsee LoRa nodes becoming mini-gateways themselves reporting local summaries of events. Given the need for precision, If the node costs were low enough one can easily foresee a single large vineyard needing 1000 nodes or more. This leads me to think that each node COULD be responsible for reporting say, data from the 5 sub-nodes nearest it, and these could be using a different short range RF, say like NRF24L01+ radios. I can report on other ideas I have seen including the monitoring of grape growth through cameras (mentioned earlier in this thread), the monitoring of pests and diseases, and security, where LoRa might provide event notification only.
Anyhow, just to say add the word "precision" and you'll get lots of use cases already in operation, and many more in the pipeline.
Flávio, there's not even a single Lora implementation in the agribiz industry in Brazil yet.
The ideas exposed before are rich and interesting, but for now not applicable for the kind of agricultural process we do have in Brazil for sugarcane, wood and soybean - the biggest ones. The reason is that they differ from the process adopted by same cultures in other countries (e.g., sugarcane in Australia, wood in Chile or cold european countries, and soybean in China). By 'process' I mean not only what happens in the crop field but in office stage, where, as you probably know if you work for the green industry in Brazil, people are more focused on fixing field data to feed agricultural management systems. We do expect to utilize Lora and other sound tech promises in a near future, but for now we've not even established stable mesh networks on the field using not so recent 'technologies' such as Zigbee IC's.
@paulg, you're absolutely right, in my point of view! Lora should be seen as a transport layer to anything, not just process and telemetry data, but precision ag support too. I'm not aware of how to utilize precision ag to viticulture, despite of the fact I know a bunch of tech stuff has been used on California successfully. But for some other industries, such as forestry, sugarcane, and soybean, precison ag will benefit enormously from a brand new transport layer. For example: despite of the fact John Deere and Trimble have good precision ag products, they are based on transport layers not available on rural areas of many countries. It results in bad utilization of such very good assets.
I know this thread is a bit old,but I have 7 gateways operating in farming areas and have end nodes in varying levels of development.
Primarily we have setup weather stations measuring Temperature, Humidity, Barometric Pressure, Wind Speed, Wind Direction, Rainfall as well as node board temp and battery level.
Other requests from farmers that we are working on developing are:
• using soil moisture sensors
• local environmental data
• when to start/stop pumps (even turning them on and
Spraying decisions –
• record keeping of conditions (to counter litigation
and QA purposes)
• providing local, accurate data
• for efficiency and efficacy of chemical application
• Opening gates for grazing management
• Tank and trough levels
Feral Pest Management trap indicators
• Movement sensors
• Vehicle movement and location
• Diesel tank monitors and alarms
Livestock and Crop monitoring
• Behaviour, location and grazing patterns of sheep
• Soil moisture and temperature
• Soil nutrients at depth
Interesting, what is your experience with realibility of the LoRaWAN sensors and gateways/network(s) in Agriculture.
I think the conditions can be harsh / industrial … what about maintainance in such an environment.
Most of our stuff is for demonstration and experimentation so far.
We have been using UV stable plastic enclosures for our nodes and gateways.
I have had a couple of BME280 sensors pack it in, mostly the humidity gets stuck on 100%, but the Sodaq Explorers and little Arduino Pro Mini / RFM95 nodes have been rock solid.
As for our gateways, they are up on towers on farms, in an IP67 rated plactic box with a tin shield to keep it out of most of the elements, especially the sun. We have had been using Multitech Conduits, with no issues so far, even runnning off solar panels and batteries.
One of our biggest challenges in Australia is ants near the ground, and cockatoos off the ground who love to chew anything they can land on.
One issue is that of conectivity. trying to keep ongoing costs low, we opted not to use cellular connections, but use the farm’s home internet connection, which is sometimes using 3G/4G, which isn’t ideal as it does drop out occassionaly. When the gateway is located in the middle of the field, we use solar power and point to point connections using Ubiquiti gear.
The measurement of electric fence voltage could be a use case. Circuits and source code exist, so making it easy to adapt to a Lora (TTN) node.
I’ve seen quite a few make comment on the unreliable nature of the Bosch sensors when used outdoors. Any thoughts on a replacement…?
temp sensor is ok… the humidity sensor goes, when raining very fast to 100 %
I am not happy with the BME280
I think I might have a look at some of the Sensirion ones but not sure if they have a triple sensor available
@BoRRoZ did I see you with a hair dryer on a BME280 in a post?
Anyone tried the BME680
Wonder if they managed to work out the kinks of the 280
yes… because of that 100% problem (it worked )
I didn’t want to open the enclosure, so its still running but it rained a bit today … and the problem is back