Soil sensor increases crop yield and quality while helping to minimise environmental damage

20-09-2019 | Murata | Test & Measurement

Murata has released a highly accurate soil sensor containing three sensors in one package. Targeted at the agricultural and horticultural industries, the sensor allows growers to improve the yield and quality of crops while having lower costs associated with decreased water and fertiliser usage, these being the most important application fields for the sensor.

Murata has launched projects employing the soil sensor with partners globally. One such collaboration is with Vietnam’s Can Tho University, which started in 2017. The university has extensive knowledge of agricultural and environmental research in the Mekong Delta, and the project involved conducting field trials of a soil monitoring system to scrutinise the condition of agricultural land in the delta.

Able to operate from a 3V to 6.5V, 50mA (maximum) supply, the device's EC measurement range is 0 to 5.0dS/m providing an accuracy of ±3% full scale. Its moisture measurement range is 0%VWC to 60%VWC at an accuracy of ±3% full scale, and its temperature range is -20C to 70C with an accuracy of ±1C.

Protected to IP68 dust and water resistance incorporating reliable rustproofing for use in harsh environments, this high performing, accurate sensor is claimed to be more rugged than competing sensors of its type and, as such, is positioned at the high end of its genre. The sensor’s interface capability embraces UART, RS232E, RS485 and SDI-12, and maximum cable length is specified as 3m@UART, 10m@RS232E and 300m@RS485.

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