Since its foundation in 2010, US-based IoT specialist Monnit has developed over eighty IoT Sensors which provide remote monitoring solutions for a wide range of industry applications. Adding to its existing monitoring sensors for greenhouses (to measure light, humidity, CO2 and temperature) and for livestock (for measuring indoor air flow), the company has launched the ALTA® Soil Moisture Sensor.
The ALTA Soil Moisture Sensor alerts farmers, horticulturists and agronomists direct to their mobile device or computer about how much, when, and where to water their plants or crops. This new Monnit IoT Sensor provides a solution to instantly improve irrigation scheduling and efficiency using timely soil condition data.
The two-in-one, corrosion-resistant Soil Moisture Sensor measures soil water tension (matric potential) and temperature (-40°C to 125°C / -40°F to 257°F). A resistive granular matrix element and a thermistor-based temperature element combine to help to increase yield, mitigate water stress and nutrient leaching, and improve water conservation across growing operations.
“We live and work in a remarkable time of connection when we can say, ‘Listen to your crops tell you when to water them,’ and it means you get a powerful stream of actionable data from the IoT,” said Brad Walters, CEO of Monnit Corporation. “Our Soil Moisture Sensor infuses many applications with the critical data insights people need to make faster, more accurate decisions to modernize their water operations.”
The sensor’s moisture element is unique because it works in a way similar to a plant’s root – by measuring water tension in its hydrophilic fabric-covered matrix material rather than the surrounding soil. Users of the sensor won’t need to recalibrate it after each placement.
It is also possible to use the temperature element’s reading for soil moisture temperature compensation to avoid getting different water readings if the temperature changes.
Key features of the ALTA® Soil Moisture Sensor include:
- Safe and durable in a variety of soils and both hot and freezing temperatures
- Measure within a range of 0 to 240 centibar (cb) or kilopascal (kPa)
- Won’t dissolve in soil and has high-grade stainless steel
- Internally compensated for commonly found salinity levels