Today, after a year of discussions, finding funds, designing, ordering, building, testing, in the lab and in my garden, we finally deployed the 3-node wireless soil moisture sensor network in a blueberry barren at Cherryfield Farms Inc. It’s up and running!
The individual nodes consist of an Arduino node, a solar panel for battery power, an Xbee radio for wireless communication, and a soil moisture sensor each. The Arduinos are enclosed in weather-proof boxes, and the soil moisture sensors are deploy horizontally at 3.5 inch depth since the root system of blueberries is shallow. The base station is a Raspberry Pi that is powered off an in-field power station that Cherryfield Farms uses for its controlled irrigation system, and also uses an Xbee radio, writing the data locally to flash.
Everything is up and running, and the sensors send data every 5 minutes.
Joel and J.C. sorting out the nodes.
Raspberry pi base station to the right.
Node 1 — with a view of a small section of the blueberry barren
Node 2 — (Node 1 is close to the left upper half near the tree line and the ‘antenna’)
Waiting for the data to come in
The team — Joel Whitney (MSIS student and Cherryfield field manager), Silvia Nittel (faculty), J.C. Whittier (Phd student)