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A TDR wireless device for volumetric water content sensing

AuthorsVilloro, Antonio; Latorre Garcés, Borja ; Tormo, Jaume; Jiménez, Juan J. ; López Sánchez, María Victoria ; Nicolau, José Manuel; Vicente, José; Gracia Ballarín, Ricardo ; Moret-Fernández, David
KeywordsTime domain reflectometry
Cable tester
Apparent permittivity
Soil water estimation
Issue DateFeb-2021
CitationVilloro A, Latorre B, Tormo J, Jiménez JJ, López MV, Nicolau JM, Vicente J, Gracia R, Moret-Fernández D. A TDR wireless device for volumetric water content sensing. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture 181: 105939 (2021)
AbstractTime Domain Reflectometry (TDR) is a widely used technique to estimate the soil volumetric water content (θ) and bulk electrical conductivity (σ). This paper presents TDR-WiFi, a wireless, portable and low cost interface to ease sensing of θ and σ by connecting TDR cable tester with a smartphone. TDR-WiFi consists of a microprocessor equipped with a WiFi microcontroller (M5Stack unit) and connected to the TDR device through an RS232-TTL adapter. The M5stack firmware is programmed in MicroPython language to act as a server between the user and the TDR device through a web page accessible from any smartphone web browser. TDR-WiFi is compatible with the Campbell TDR100 device and allows storing the TDR waveforms as well as estimating θ and σ. A complementary web page for subsequent analysis of the TDR waveforms was developed and is publicly available at http://swi.csic.es/tdrwifi/. The system was satisfactorily demonstrated in laboratory and tested in the field. The field trial allowed water content measurements in a steep road slope. TDR-WiFi demonstrated to be operative in the field and it can be satisfactorily used in difficult access areas.
Description12 Pags.- 2 Figs. The definitive version is available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/01681699
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compag.2020.105939
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