Development of an irrigation automation system
Depending on the climatic zone and the cultivated crop, irrigation systems are mandatory tools for obtaining productivity. With the right approach and planning, for example, for potatoes, farmers have the opportunity to "harvest" up to 4 crops in 1 season, which significantly increases profits and efficiency of each hectare. However, the usual installation of an irrigation system with manual control often leads to the opposite consequences - water costs appear, it is necessary to increase the staff of a company with experience in working with irrigation systems, it is necessary to control that the irrigation rate is not exceeded, and operations are carried out on time depending from soil moisture and rain forecast. When using autonomous (offline) irrigation systems, there are many additional costs that can even completely negate all the benefits of their use. We were tasked with developing and integrating systems for remote control and condition monitoring of frontal and circular irrigation systems from a Ukrainian manufacturer
Proposed solution
Our engineers have started researching available industrial control controllers that could meet the client's needs: having a touch screen for local control, configuration, and diagnostics in case of mobile operator coverage absence in the field, local control of connected relays for managing the irrigation machine based on commands received from the server. In parallel, we independently calculated the development of a similar controller, but the terms and cost were not economically justified. We have designed the entire journey of an irrigation machine from the moment it is manufactured in the factory, through installation and start-up in the field, regular operation and end-of-life disposal. We digitized all these processes in the form of a client-server dispatching web application and mobile applications based on iOS and Android for work in the field. In addition, we offered integration with the Meteotrek service to obtain accurate weather data from the field about the amount of precipitation, air conditions, and soil temperature and humidity
As a result of conducting research and development of a global concept, we united several teams for parallel work on the project - development of firmware and protocol of interaction of the controller with server software, development of API for connecting the Web application and development of mobile applications. As a result of many months of work, the customer received a complex solution that allows for remote activation and deactivation of the irrigation system, selection of the direction of movement and irrigation rates through mobile applications. To ensure timeliness of irrigation, data on the condition of the soil, precipitation and air were integrated directly into the field data, and all the results of work and monitoring of its condition were sent back from the machine for further diagnosis and planning of service work on the machine. As a result of the first stage of development, the customer increased the number of car sales in Ukraine, as well as expanded the geography of sales
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