License-free community sensor networks for agricultural users are now closer to reality.
A team of collaborating companies connected a Vinduino agricultural sensor station to the eVineyard application with a long-range wireless data connection managed by The Things Network.
The Things Network is a global community, building a global Internet of Things (IoT) network with deployments in about 90 countries. Agricultural communities with subscription free wireless data networks means sensor stations can use a shared access point; no longer needing proprietary gateways.
The network uses a five-mile range and low power radio frequency protocol called LoRaWAN.
The eVineyard vineyard management application is fully customized to meet the needs of U.S. grape growers. The app includes automated irrigation timing based on local weather data and Vinduino soil moisture measurements.
The unique approach makes vineyard irrigation easier and more precise to increase water savings to the next level.
The Vinduino sensor station uses a custom designed LM-110-H1 module by USGlobalSat, Inc. which allows support for LoRaWAN wireless networks with fast time-to-market.
Vinduino says, “This is great progress, the result of our collaborative effort makes use of agricultural sensor technologies so much easier and affordable. With this sensor system you can optimize irrigation and save an average of 25 percent water. On top of that, you can share a gateway with hundreds of sensors. A few gateways can cover a whole agricultural area, allowing tremendous savings on wireless cost.”
According to The Things Network, Vinduino was a perfect fit for The Things Network and its global community.
“It’s an open source, it's well documented, and it solves a real problem the right way, using LoRaWAN. The Things Network connected gateways do not only cover the eVinyard solution, but also any other existing or future LoRaWAN solution in the vicinity.”
eVineyards says vineyard management savings using sensors are accessible, affordable, and easy to use in any vineyard. The new offering will help existing and new customers.
”Our collaboration resulted in constant and ongoing value proposition increase and development of the Vinduino System with GlobalSat’s LoRa Modules," says USGlobalSat, Inc. “The Vinduino system squarely fills an agriculture market void in the precision farming vertical not addressed by any other product solution available today, and we only foresee many wonderfully new developments for the space moving forward."
All mentioned products will be available to U.S. customers by the end of this year. This allows for timely installation and irrigation water savings for the 2018 growing season.