Remote monitoring for wireless sensor based irrigation system in Malawi

Million Trocco Mafuta, Timothy Chadza, Harry Gombachika, Graham Ault, Damien Fleming Frame, Elijah Banda

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

In the recent years there has been an increase in the application of Wireless
Sensor Networks (WSNs) in agriculture, specifically aiding automatic application of water, chemicals and fertilizers to the field. Since WSNs are still under development stage, they are at times unreliable, power hungry, fragile and they easily lose communication. Intrinsically, any irrigation system based on WSNs requires close monitoring to guard against any horrendous mishaps. However, monitoring such an irrigation system which, usually, is located at a rural site can be expensive and time consuming. In this paper we developed an efficient, cost-effective and real-time wireless based remote monitoring mechanism for a WSN based Irrigation system situated in Manja Township within Blantyre city. The system archives data that include the soil moisture potential, link performance, electrical power levels, and valve status and subsequently sends the information as a text message over a cellular network to a remote monitoring site located at the Malawi Polytechnic. The remote station has a broadband wireless dongle which is interfaced to a MYSQL database via an open source FrontlineSMS. The information is graphically published on a web browser with the help of a PHP script. Preliminary results demonstrate that a WSN based irrigation system
can be monitored remotely at a low cost and in real time.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2 May 2012
EventNational Commission for Science and Technology (NCST) - National Research Dissemination 2012 - Lilongwe, Malawi
Duration: 2 May 2012 → …

Conference

ConferenceNational Commission for Science and Technology (NCST) - National Research Dissemination 2012
CountryMalawi
CityLilongwe
Period2/05/12 → …

Keywords

  • wireless sensor network
  • frontline SMS
  • irrigation systems
  • remote monitoring
  • Malawi

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  • Cite this

    Mafuta, M. T., Chadza, T., Gombachika, H., Ault, G., Frame, D. F., & Banda, E. (2012). Remote monitoring for wireless sensor based irrigation system in Malawi. Paper presented at National Commission for Science and Technology (NCST) - National Research Dissemination 2012, Lilongwe, Malawi.