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In agriculture and silviculture, as a branch of forestry, the need for increased production and simultaneously the efforts for minimizing the environmental impact and for saving costs make the sensor systems the best-allied tool. The use of sensors helps to exploit all available resources appropriately and to apply hazardous products moderately. When nutrients in the soil, humidity, solar radiation, density of weeds, and all factors affecting the production are known, this gets better and the use of chemical products such as fertilizers, herbicides, and different pollutants merchandise may be decreased considerably.  These activities fall inside the emerging area known as Precision Agriculture. In forest management, which can be considered a branch of forestry, a lot of the number of activities is oriented toward wood production or forest inventories with the aim of controlling parameters of interest such as the diameter of trees, height, crown height, bark thickness, and other variables, such as canopy, humidity, illumination, CO2 transformation, where the social acceptation is of interest.

Sensor networks allow the collection of different types of in-situ information which can be conveniently exploited for controlling crop production or monitoring ecosystems by analyzing different variables, such as light, temperature, humidity, or climatological and anthropological events, among others. This information can be acquired by sensors deployed in different countries or areas and processed remotely, including web technologies.

Agrometeorological Station for agriculture has the main objective to determine the environmental condition for crop management, frost prediction, and careful management of irrigation systems, crop protection, and analysis of the phytopathology of plants. Meteoxperts follows all the phases of work, offering specific solutions to specific needs. All sensors are designed to ensure the accuracy of the measurement that meets WMO (World Meteorological Organization).

Components of Agrometeorology

  • Anemometer– Measures wind direction and speed. That helps in agricultural research and forecasting.

  • Thermometer – Measures atmospheric temperature. This helps in predicting temperature and so crop.

  • Pyranometer – Measures Solar radiation levels from the sun in watts per square meter (used to calculate ‘Evapotranspiration’, the rate at which water evaporates from the soil).

  • Leaf Wetness Sensor – Measures surface moisture of the plants on a scale of 0-15 (dry to saturated). Data from these sensors are used in fungal disease control.

  • Soil Moisture Sensor – Measures water levels in the soil, With the help of moisture probe we measure soil moisture and use it for agriculture forecasts.

  • Soil Temperature Sensor – Monitors the soil temperature to detect freezing or high temperatures that can put crops at risk. It is also used to calculate the rate of Evapotranspiration.

  • Hygrometer – Measures relative humidity using a percentage measure of water vapor in the air.

  • Barometer – Measures atmospheric pressure to predict precipitation.

  • Rain Gauge – Measures liquid precipitation using an open container. They usually empty automatically and measure the amount of rainfall over a given time interval.

  • UV Sensor – Measures UV rays from the sun. These sensors are used for precision growing in particular crops like cannabis, where overexposure to UV rays can stunt leaf growth or affect potency.

Types and Applications of Sensors

Autonomous or remotely guided agricultural tractors: For positioning a tractor in the field only GPS can be used as the unique sensor if the receiver is placed ahead of the tractor. Sensors based on augmented reality technology are useful from the point of view of autonomy. Guidance of a tractor by means of an electromyography-based human-machine interface is vital for disabled people.

LIDAR sensors: Lidar sensors are used to obtain dynamic measurements to estimate fruit-tree leaf area and combined with GPS have been applied for 3D map generation in vine plantations.

Soft water level-based sensors for characterizing the hydrological behavior in agriculture catchments have been used with promising prospects.

Reflectometers can determine moisture content in oil palm fruits. A solar energy-powered autonomous wireless actuator has been designed for irrigation systems in agriculture.

Agricultural robotics systems: These are continuously expanding and the design of efficient sensor architectures for task classification, communication, and control results are of great relevance. Communication can be established among different vehicles or between different sensors mounted on a unique ground or aerial mobile unit, where sensors must be conveniently integrated.

Eddy covariance sensors are applied to quantify the carbon metabolism of peatlands and also regional and global analysis of observations from micrometeorological tower sites.

Capacitance probes are suitable for the measurement of soil moisture in tropical areas.

Ultrasonic ranging sensors are used for analyzing apple tree canopies.
Optical and microwave sensors are useful for olive grove canopies.

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