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A low cost microcontroller-based automated irrigation system for two Ethiopian crops in a dry area

Yenenesh Alemu, Tsegaye Mamo, Ashenafi Bezabih, Fekadu Setegn, Jemal Endris, Taye Girma

Abstract


Maintaining soil water level is a necessary and pre-requisite for optimum crops production. Water is the essential elements for proper growth of crops in its optimum level; however its excessiveness should be avoided. Since irrigation is a dominant consumer of water, there must be a system which regulates the level of water use so that the irrigation field is neither over-irrigated  nor  under-irrigated.  Over  time,  systems  have  been  implemented  towards realizing this objective and most of them employ micro-controller based irrigation systems. These systems offer several technological advantages but are unaffordable, bulky, difficult to maintain and less accepted by the technologically unskilled workers in the rural scenario. The aim of this paper is to design a simple, easy to install, monitor and indicate the level of soil moisture  that  is  continuously  controlled  in  order  to  achieve  maximum  crops  growth  and simultaneously  to  optimize  the  available irrigation  resources,  water  and  etc.  A  simple microcontroller based circuit is used coupled with relay units which control the water pumps. The use of easily available components reduces the manufacturing and maintenance costs. This makes the proposed system to be an economical, appropriate and a low maintenance solution for applications, especially in rural areas and not only for small scale agriculturists but also large scale too. The physical implementation result of the proposed system  and its simulation result are tested and checked for consistence and correctness.

Keywords: Microcontroller, Automated Irrigation, Soil Humidity, Crops




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