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  Irrigation System

Custom Project Name

Irrigation System

Customer (country)

One of the top American laboratories.

Business Case

For the last 20 years one of the top American laboratories has been researching factors affecting growth, harvesting, storage, quality, and safety of peanuts. A U.S. peanut farmer competes with international producers who have much lower production costs. Pest control and irrigation constitute a major part of the US production costs. Modern irrigation technology has much potential for optimization of water and nutrients supply as well as for reduction of water consumption and pest pressure.Previous software solutions, which were employed at the laboratory, were unsatisfactory, as they could not manage a large enough number of control nodes. They also were limited in ways to access controlling and monitoring functions. There was no product on the market, which would offer both of these functionalities.

Solution

The system designed by Novosoft is a mix of hardware and software solutions. The software part of the system is based on the central control system capable of controlling multiple remote nodes. The central control system is used to transfer commands to workstations, to collect and to store data received from workstations, to create reports, and to record user settings. Communications within the system can be done through a radio, modem, or Ethernet connection. Last version of the system utilizes radio-Ethernet technology with connection speed of 11 Mbit/sec. In general, the system can be accessed from any PC or laptop with a web browser. The system can also be customized for the use from mobile phones with WAP. The system has an intuitive graphic user interface making its deployment process fast and easy. Central to the hardware part of the solution is the use of a node computer connected to sensors and "response" devices like water supply. Other similar products employ controllers to turn the response devices on and off. The use of a node computer is a more flexible solution, as it does not restrict scheduling, as would the use of controllers. Moreover, the system would function for 4.5 months, saving data, should the central computer or communications with one or more nodes fail.A solution offered by Novosoft can be customized fast and without large expenditures.

Screenshot(s)
Tools and Technologies

C/C++, QNX 4.25, Hewlett Packard SNMP++ v3.0 library, PHP, MySQL, Apache 1.3, Linux; video subsystem is built on AXIS Video server, model 2400

Benefits

Scalability: the system supports any number of control nodes. Each node may have up to 256 sensors and valves.
Connectivity: PC, PDA, or laptop connected to the Internet may be used to control the irrigation process in any field. Notifications, alarms, and warnings can be send as e-mails or SMS.
Intelligence: automatic on-the-node calculation of the schedule of irrigations and nitrogen injections. Calculations are based on formulas utilizing metrological data and the growth phase. Metrological data is automatically collected and averaged hourly and daily.
Automation: valves are turned on and off automatically according to the calculated schedule. Automatic calibration of sensors.
Accessibility: all metrological data, history of events, and settings are stored in a database and thus this data is available at any time.
Manageability: the user can monitor current condition of the system.
Simplicity: intuitive user interface makes tasks like setting formulas, rules, or conditions easy.



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