Development of a Capacitance-Based Sensor for On-the-Go Soil Moisture Measurements

cover page paper 3.2.jpg
cover page paper 3.2.jpg

Development of a Capacitance-Based Sensor for On-the-Go Soil Moisture Measurements

25.00

Authors

Maria Mastorakos1*, Viacheslav Adamchuk1**, Frédéric Réne-Laforest1, Charles Hemplemen2

Abstract

Mapping the heterogeneity of soil water content within an agricultural field can be advantageous when optimizing crop management in response to local soil conditions. Capacitance-based soil sensors have been a popular means of in-situ quantification of soil water content. However, current commercial sensors have been used only for point-based measurement and temporary monitoring when placed in a stationary position. This limits their ability to obtain a thorough representation of soil water conditions with high spatial resolution at an economically feasible cost. The sensor system presented in this paper was developed for on-the-go measurement of soil water content. The sensor operates at a maximum depth of 10 cm below the soil surface. The sensor is small in size (20 cm in length, 5 cm high and wide), is simple to operate and relatively inexpensive. The measurements obtained from this sensor can be used for constructing soil moisture maps to be employed in the follow-up decision making process and/or to control the parameters of a specific field operation, such as planting depth, in real time. Preliminary laboratory evaluation of the latest sensor prototype has revealed lower than 8% soil water content prediction errors (both gravimetric and volumetric) while testing soils with a broad range of particle size distributions.

Keywords: soil moisture, on-the-go sensors, capacitance, precision agriculture

Add To Cart