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 AS  Vol.12 No.3 , March 2021
Testing an Open-Source Multi Brand Sensor Node to Monitor Variability of Environmental Conditions inside a Greenhouse
Abstract: A research project was undertaken to collect data to study the variability in environmental parameters inside a greenhouse. The specific objectives of the project were to 1) develop the network of open-source sensor nodes, 2) evaluate the performance of the individual sensors, and 3) quantify the spatial variability of environmental parameters within the greenhouse. The sensor system consisted of a sensor node equipped with three temperature and relative humidity sensors, one light-level sensor, one barometric pressure sensor, AA batteries, and a microcontroller board with a built-in radio to transfer the data wirelessly. The sensors were controlled with open-source technology. Twelve sensor nodes were fabricated and placed at different locations in a greenhouse to evaluate variability in sensor location and environmental parameters. Data collected during February 2019 were used to test the sensors. Heatmaps were employed to assess the variability of the measurements. Variability in greenhouse temperature, relative humidity, and light level conditions was identified with the sensor system. Overall, environmental measures based on time of day appeared to be a better grouping mechanism for analysis than sensor location in the greenhouse. Similar patterns were observed between the different sensor manufacturer’s heatmaps for the temperature sensors and relative humidity sensors. This study provided a protocol for developing the inexpensive multi-sensor sensor node and showed that automated measurements obtained with the system could help monitor variation in a greenhouse setting. The costs of the system components fabricated for this study included US$76 for each sensor node and US$55 for the gateway, totaling US$967 for the 12-node study described.
Cite this paper: Fletcher, R. and Fisher, D. (2021) Testing an Open-Source Multi Brand Sensor Node to Monitor Variability of Environmental Conditions inside a Greenhouse. Agricultural Sciences, 12, 159-180. doi: 10.4236/as.2021.123011.
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