Soil Moisture Probes
Designed and built for rugged and reliable performance
Long range, reliable communications
Easy Data access
Competitively priced for affordability
A capacitance sensor uses an electronic current between two electrodes to measure the dielectric permittivity of the soil. The amount of moisture in the soil affects the frequency of the emitted current, which can be measured and converted into a measure of the total amount of moisture in the soil.
The unit consists of a probe that contains up to 10 sensors and generally about 0.8 – 1.2 meters long. This is placed into the soil in the field at the start of the crop life cycle. A control box sits on top of the probe above the ground and contains the circuitry required to generate the current and record the results. The box also contains a modem or radio that can communicate the results back to the server. A solar panel and battery provide the power for the unit. The control box can be removed to allow cultivators and other implements to pass over the top, but the probe remains in the soil for the life of the crop.
At set time intervals, usually on the hour, the probe records the soil moisture and passes the data back to the database. The server processes the data and displays it on the web site for ease of access on any device, including desktop, laptop, tablet and mobile phone.
The soil probes are constructed from durable components to allow survival in the tough in-field environment. Commercially available components ensure economical and rapid maintenance ensuring minimum down times.
Goanna field representatives are available to assist the client to install, remove and operate the probes and to assess the data received. Regular Maintenance is carried out on all devices, typically at the start of each season. This ensures all units run effectively for the majority of the growing season.
Soil moisture is measured once per hour and is available on the server about 10 minutes after a measurement. Users can log onto the web site and see the latest soil moisture results and a calculation of the due date of irrigation. The web page also generates a mobile page specifically designed for ease of use on mobile devices. This allows for quick updates while the client is in the field away from computer access. Graphical representation and analysis of all data collected is also available on the website. This allows users to have access to all necessary data, no matter their location.
Farmers in the past, used to predict their irrigation schedule on many tried and true methods from looking at crop symptoms to calendar based schedules. A lot of these systems did not allow the most efficient use of the available water. Soil Neutron Probes gave us a more detailed look at the soil moisture profile and allowed more accurate irrigation predictions and also made it easier to see problems such as hard pans and stunted root development. But these devices needed to be carried to the field and it took several minutes to take the readings at each site.
Capacitance probes have also been around for some time and provide almost identical detailed information to the Neutron probe. However each reading is done automatically without the user needing to be present. Older units required a laptop computer to physically download the information from the unit itself Goanna has developed the system further by ensuring the information comes to the user rather that the other way around. Finally, growers are able to determine their soil moisture regularly and rapidly and have up to date information for water ordering, irrigation scheduling or soil compaction problems. That has got to be a cost saving initiative!