Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Evaluation and Calibration of a new wireless sensor.

Jose Makk1, Bernd Leinauer2, and Manoj Shukla2. (1) New Mexico State University, 1317 Catalpa Dr, Las Cruces, NM 88001-2401, (2) Ext Plant Sci Dept Box 30003, New Mexico State Univ, New Mexico State Univ, Las Cruces, NM 88003-8003, United States of America

Water management and irrigation efficiency are growing concerns for turfgrass managers, especially when salt concentrations are high in irrigation water and soil. Decisions regarding appropriate management practices should be based on the best available information. The present research evaluates the calibration of wireless soil sensors that measure temperature, volumetric moisture, and electrical conductivity in a sandy soil. Preliminary analysis of data obtained from the sensors indicated very precise factory values for soil temperature estimation, even without calibration of the instruments. Volumetric moisture estimation was acceptable for some research applications only after a thorough calibration. However, conductivity values were not reliable, highlighting the need for more testing and calibration.