Environmental Sensors

Agricultural Electronics Corporation Home Page

To properly assess plant or tree growth and development it is appropriate to correlate changes in the plant hydration and energy (recorded by the POD) with environmental conditions at the same time. This includes assessment of the daylight conditions, air and soil temperature, and soil moisture level. The Agricultural Electronics Corporation manufactures instrumentation (except the quantum light sensor) to provide this data. A description of the respective items is shown below.

Light Sensor

The PHYTOGRAM™ instrumentation can record the intensity and duration of the sunlight in the field being monitored. A light sensor placed near the POD will convey to it only those photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) wavelengths that plants are able to utilize. The unit used is a LI-COR Quantum Sensor.

Air and Soil Temperature Sensors

The air temperature sensor is a highly sensitive (0.1 degree C) thermistor. It is enclosed in a low thermal conductivity plastic assembly designed to shield the thermistor from sunlight and at the same time maximize convective air movement around the thermistor.

The soil temperature sensor contains the same thermistor as the air temperature sensor but it is encased in a metal jacket to protect it from mechanical damage. The lead wires from the unit are triple jacketed to prevent water penetration during long term burial. The soil temperature sensor device is about 1.0 centimeter in diameter and 3 centimeters long. Thermistors are made of material whose resistance varies in a known manner with the temperature.

Soil Moisture Sensor

This sensor is about 4 centimeters long and 0.5 millimeters in diameter. It functions on the same principle as the plant internal hydration measurement, that is, a water dipstick. The electronics measures the wetted surface area of the sensor. This can vary from completely dry to completely wet under total water immersion. The lead wire from the sensor is triple jacketed to prevent water penetration into the sensor assembly.

Web Site Navigation Links
Welcome Page  
PHYTOGRAM™ - Applications and specifications Automatic Point and Band Dendrometers - For precise measurements of growth
POD - In-the-field solar powered data collection computer operating over extended period of time in various environmental conditions Manual Band Dendrometers - Schematic drawing and product characteristics
Equipment Cost and Support Services - Products, Services, and typical Research Packages Automatic Root Dendrometers - For measurement of diurnal cycles and growth rates of roots near the surface.
Ontogenetic Irrigation Scheduling- When to water and how much to water based on plant development over four seasons Dendrometer User Group Pages
Data Transfer Methods - Various alternatives- primarily cell phone and radio communication capabilities  
Water Content Levels of Wine Berries- for wine industry, using the Phytogram™ for indicator of hydration status and berry ripeness  
Environmental Sensors - For concurrent assays of air and ground temperature, light, and soil moisture Communicating with Agricultural Electronics Corporation - By E-mail, US Postal Service, Telephone and Fax
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