A smart environmental sensor to help farmers manage irrigation efficiently is a discovery by the researchers from the Faculty of Chemical Technology at the University of Pardubice and their partners. The novelty in the field of material printing can measure both soil moisture and temperature, thus helping farmers save money and increase production.
"Our smart sensors can measure different parameters at several soil depths. A communication unit is connected to the sensor to transmit the soil data to cloud storage, where it can be analysed. This makes it possible to monitor soil conditions over time for irrigation systems, optimise water dosage and influence crop yields," said doc. Ing. Tomáš Syrový, Ph.D. from the Department of Graphic Arts and Photophysics, Faculty of Chemical Technology, University of Pardubice.
The new smart soil sensors are the result of the Smartfield project, in which the University of Pardubice cooperates with the University of West Bohemia in Plzeň, the Centre of Organic Chemistry and the The Crop Research Institute in Praha, the Jevíčko Research Station and AGROSPOL. The production of smart sensors on wood is a complete novelty in material printing. Associate Professor Tomáš Syrový has therefore applied for a European patent.
When it comes to smart sensors, ecology and sustainability are at the top of the list. For farmers, sensors are an inexpensive way to regulate water consumption during irrigation. At the same time, they are environmentally friendly. "The sensor does not put any strain on the environment. Wood is ideal as a substrate because we can print our sensor repeatedly on one piece after reworking," added Tomas Syrový from the Faculty of Chemical Technology.