Developing an automated irrigation system optimized for weather conditions and plant type

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Lajtha András Balázs
Department of Telecommunications and Media Informatics

The water is one of our most valuable and most commonly occurring natural resources on Earth. It is essential for life, however limited water is available. The freshwater is just 2.5% of the full water supply, the other part is salt water, which can be found in seas and oceans. The 98% of the freshwater is in the soil, the other 2% is in glaciers and permanent snow covers. So it is particularly important to protect the freshwater in the soil. A research made in 2006 showed that the water supply reduced dramatically, and the agriculture was responsible for the 80% of the global consumption. The freshwater used for irrigation has been tripled since 1950, however the half of the used water is enough compared to the traditional sprinkler systems because of the new drip irrigation technology. Some forecasts say that in 2080 there will be 2.3 billions of people who will not be able to get sufficiently pure water and it will lead to global problems. The sewage can be reused for irrigation but it is very expensive and can be dangerous because of the used materials and microorganisms.

Every plant needs sufficient freshwater for the normal growth. The water used for irri-gation is most commonly come from the soil which brought to the surface by pump. The natural rainfall is not enough in every case, so that the irrigation system can complete the needed water. It is important to optimise the irrigation system because the water is a very important natural resource. The system which I planned and implemented is optimised for weather and plants and the automatic irrigation uses the least possible water. In this study I review the topic of automated irrigation systems and make some engineering decisions and examine the achieved results.


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