Unidata’s Soil Moisture Monitoring Station enables you to accurately measure and record the soil moisture in most locations. This system is used in agricultural water management applications such as irrigated fields and market gardens. It also has a very large installed base in the viticulture industry.
The system employs low cost gypsum blocks to measure the electrical resistance of the soil. The resistance value is converted into a soil suction measurement (in units of bars).
The gypsum block or blocks are connected to a data logger in a waterproof enclosure that is mounted on a pole or a frame with a tripod base, depending on the permanence of the installation. The data logger will measure, store and display soil measurement data for about one year using the logger’s internal battery (this period varies according to configuration).
The data logger can also be programmed to react to certain events. For example, if it has rained and the soil is very moist, the data logger could be programmed to signal an irrigation system that it did not need to run at that time.
Installing the telemetry option enables you to monitor data acquisition, re-program the unit, and check the health of the site, all from a remote location. This can be done over landline, cellular, and radio communication links, whichever alterative is available and most cost effective at the installation site. Using this feature decreases the need for time consuming site visits.
Note that when you use one of the telemetry options you may need to provide external power such as a solar panel, external battery and regulator and use a larger enclosure.
Like all Unidata systems you can connect many other sensors to the Standard system. Many of our customers add wind speed and direction sensors to the Soil Moisture Monitoring Station.