Smart Farm platform, sensors, actuators & dashboard development
Technology is finding new dimensions every other day to help us improve considerably in all aspects of life. The farming industry is also becoming smart by the implementation of the latest technologies and solutions. Our smart farm platform is one such customizable end to end solution for IOT based farm automation. The whole purpose of creating this solution is to help farmers increase their productivity by setting up an IOT based smart farm platform for automation through a shared wireless network in a very short span of time. It can reduce the manpower utilized in a farm by many folds as the whole system is automated via handheld devices. The platform contains a set of an expandable and customizable sensor unit that communicates through a gateway and triggers the actuator unit. The controller used in the actuators/ sensors station ensures that the microclimatic parameters stay within pre-defined values as determined and set by the user.
Smart farm automation units
Smart farm platform solution can be divided into 5 different sections
- Sensor modules
- Bluetooth Gateway
- Central Gateway controller unit
- Visualization Dashboard
- Actuator Unit
Smart farm platform layout diagram
Sensor module for remote farm monitoring
The smart farm sensor module consists of a microcontroller and different types of sensors for collecting data. Sensor units measure various conditions of the farm environment including Temperature, Humidity, Soil moisture, NPK, Rain sensing, weather station and transmits the sensor data over the wireless network to the Bluetooth Gateway.
Sensor units can be deployed across the farm to create a reliable redundant shared network. One sensor unit consists of more than one sensor slot comprising of digital and analog inputs. Compatible sensors can be connected to the slots depending on the customer requirements. These units are powered by a 5V, 1A DC supply.
- DHT digital temperature humidity sensor
- One Wire Temperature Sensor
- Two way interface with Modbus, Building automation & eCommerce
Analog Input (0-5V DC)
- Soil moisture sensor
- pH sensor
- NKP sensor
- Indoor Air Quality
- Rain sensing / weather station
The IOT devices use a gateway as a central hub to drop sensed knowledge and communicate with external networks. The IoT Gateway stands as one of the key elements in this ecosystem. It handles all communication with all sensors and remote connections such as the Internet, applications, or users. This gateway unit is the data exchange unit of the Smart farm platform. It receives and processes all sensor data captured by the sensor units deployed on the farm. It will be connected to the internet and transmits data to the cloud dashboard.
This unit is powered by a 5V, 2A DC power supply. Receives commands from the dashboard based on the rules created by the user. Upon receiving the commands and based on the programmed logic, it triggers the actuator unit. Farm automation can be linked with an eCommerce platform to provide farm to fork visibility
The smart farming Actuator unitThe actuator unit consists of a Microcontroller and different types of relays that are capable of actuating farm equipment. The unit is triggered into action when actuation commands are received from the gateway Unit. One actuator unit consists of a low voltage relay and a high power relay to support a range of equipment. There will be different types of electronic equipment like water pump, exhaust fan, solenoid valve used in a farmland.
These are now controlled manually by workers. But when we use the actuation unit this equipment will be connected to the relays and can be automatically turned on/off according to the sensor data. Actuation units are powered by a 5V, 1A DC supply. Generally used farm equipment power requirements:
Low Voltage Relay (12/24V DC, 5A)
- Solenoid Valve
- LED Lights
- Fuel guage
High Power Relays (230V AC, 5/10A)
- Water Pump
- Exhaust Fan
Smart farming automation platform development
For the Internet of Things, or any control system, the dashboard or IOT dashboard for farms is the key HMI (Human-Machine Interface) component that organizes and presents digital information from our physical world into a simply understood display on a computer or mobile device. With the help of IOT Dashboards, users and operators can (remotely) monitor and control specific assets and processes.
The Smart farm platform dashboard helps the farm owners and workers to visualize the live sensor data from anywhere in the world. This dashboard comprises a set of user-friendly and easily customizable widgets like graphs, charts, and tables to visualize and display data. Different login options (admin and user) can be provided for the customers based on their roles with different permission levels. The farm dashboard is built using secure web technology.
The admin user will have the provision to edit the dashboard, add new devices, assign more users with limited access, and set rules to send commands to control the actuation units. User login will only have the provision to view the data and if needed more permissions can be provided by the admin.
The other feature of the dashboard is the provision to set rules for sending alert once the required condition is breached. The dashboard comprises different alert mechanisms including Email alert, UI alert, and sending a command to the gateway unit to control the actuation unit.
For e.g. :
- If the temperature is greater than 50°C, power on the exhaust fan
- If the soil moisture level is less than 20%, power on the water pump
If any of the above conditions are satisfied, the corresponding command will be sent to the gateway and then to the actuation unit. Once the sensor value is back to normal, the equipment will be automatically turned off based on the command from the dashboard.