Agriculture, the largest industry in the world, is also the one that wastes more water every year. According to the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF), agriculture wastes 60% of the water it uses each year, which is, in turn 70% of the world’s accessible water. One of the main culprits is inefficient water irrigation systems.
Due to climate change, and according to WWF, more frequent droughts are expected. With these lack of water the same crop production can only be maintained by increasing irrigation, but water availability is decreasing. Therefore, it is clear that there is an urgent need to improve the efficiency of irrigation systems.
SmartIrrigation represents a major contribution towards smart and efficient agriculture in several ways. By providing information on when and how much to irrigate, it contributes to avoiding the wasting of water as well as guaranteeing that the conditions guarantee optimal plant health. The solution therefore makes it possible for the farmer to reduce costs, maintain optimal productivity and possibly increase production, and therefore reduce a part of the risk inherent to agricultural production.
SmartIrrigation is an integrated solution that provides integrated information to help farmers better design and manage their irrigation strategy to increase crop yield while saving water, energy and fertilizer. The system integrates data from our specifically designed on-site StarProbes with our Aqua web inteface. With our wireless, easy-to-use system you are just one click away from monitoring your fields.
The SmartIrrigation solution is an accurate, easy-to-use, low-cost, intelligent and flexible irrigation scheduling system that takes advantage of recent technological advances in wireless sensor networking, satellite image processing and crop modelling.
Download our brochure now! SmartIrrigation Brochure
The SmartIrrigation innovative solution is an integrated system of:
- In situ data probes (StarSensors): Reliable, easy to use state-of-the-art capacitive soil moisture probes with GPRS communications, providing soil moisture data at different depths.
- Space data: Data is collected and processed from several sources providing wide coverage. Images are updated weekly (soil moisture) or monthly (plant water stress)
- The AQUA server: an intelligent web-based software application that combines in-situ sensor readings with satellite images outputs together with crop and soil type, weather forecast data and crop development status to automatically analyse the data and provide essential information for irrigation decision-making.
We offer 15 main models of StarProbes, which are defined by:
A) The number of sensors they include:
B) Their power supply:
- Lizard Box: Solar powered
- Beetle Box: AC probes which connect to the electric grid
- Talp Box: Battery-powered
AQUA Web Interface
Readings from StarProbes are periodically sent to our AQUA server where you will be able to visualise and download soil moisture, salinity or temperature from our sensors. Our web interface can be accessed from any browser worldwide. Information is safely stored and it only can be accessed by authorised users.
AQUA is able to display information from your probes according to the timeframe you choose, so you can display the data seasonally, monthly, weekly or daily, as best suits your needs. Data can also be downloaded in Excel format for your reporting needs.
See your probes in a map! A map view of your field is offered where probes can be clicked on and the last readings from the chosen probe are shown. Satellite layers if purchased, are also shown in this view.
Get the full picture of your plants’ health using satellite images of soil moisture and relevant vegetation indexes, smartly correlated with sensor readings. (See more in Vegetation Health section).
Enjoy the wide coverage and panoramic view offered by satellite data, unattainable by any other data source.
SmartIrrigation in the press
- Old World, New Tech. New York Times, 21st April 2014.
- Un sistema de riego inteligente minimiza el despilfarro de agua. El Periódico, 2nd April 2014.
- Barcelona estrena un sistema inteligente de telegestión del riego en los parques. El Periódico, 26 March 2014.
- Starlab Barcelona, ciencia aplicada. Blog Actual.es, 8th March 2014.
- Starlab Barcelona, ciencia aplicada. Loogic.com, 7th March 2014
- SmartIrrigation – Satellite monitoring for agriculture. Copernicus Masters. 3rd Place Best Service Challenge 2013
- BCN impulsa el riego inteligente con datos de satélites y sensores. El Periódico, 22nd November 2013.
- Cuatro historias de emprendedores. La Vanguardia, 18th November 2012.
SmartIrrigation Success case stories
- Raimat, Spain (Summers 2012 and 2013). Raimat pilot trials were launched and tested in 2012 and 2013 and consisted in a daily monitoring of soil moisture in a maize field with 10 probes, with sensors buried at 30 cm depth. The readings of soil moisture taken in percentage (volumetric water content) were gathered every 30 minutes and stored in a file on the probes’ internal memory. All these measurements were packed together and periodically sent to the AQUA server, where the client could visualize and download soil moisture data from the sensors. The results were very promising and showed that this type of measurements are a clear indicator of water usage and that they could really help to save water since plants roots water availability could be monitored in real time.
- Madre Fruta, Hubel. Algarve, Faro, Portugal (summers 2012 and 2013). Thanks to the collaboration with HUBEL, a distributor of irrigation systems with a significant presence in the Spanish and Portuguese markets, different type of trials have been carried out. A new probe type was created due to the requirements of some HUBEL clients, to use this kind of technology in greenhouses for hydroponic crops that need a very intensive and precise control: the Beetle Box version, which is AC connected to the mains and takes measurements every 30 seconds. This new version completely satisfied the growers’ needs, since there was no other sensor on the market able to provide measurements with this frequency and with such a precision as the SmartIrrigation probe gave.
- Sallent, Iberpotash, Spain (March 2013 – September 2013). Starlab carried out a salinity monitoring pilot project with SmartIrrigation. IBERPOTASH is one of the biggest producers of potash and salt in Europe. The company owns a salt mountain which is the result of extracting potash from the closest mine in Sallent, Catalonia. In this pilot trial, Starlab provided data from probes surrounding the perimeter of the salt mountain to detect risk situations caused by salt water leaks due to storms. The pilot exercise consisted of the installation of a set of salinity probes and provision of the web platform (AQUA user interface) as well as user training. 5 probes were installed in one of the most dangerous faces of the salt mountain, providing real time information on the salinity level and sending alarms when storms caused salinity increases in the soil that could endanger the surrounding environment. The pilot exercise duration was six months and according to customer feedback results were very useful and precious to detect potentially harmful situations.