By SAUMYA PAREEK and SILADITYAA SHARMA
New Delhi, India
The CBSE Science Fair
The IAD has moisture sensors fitted in it, which would detect the level of moisture in the soil of the field and if it is low according to the crop, then it would act as a trigger and turn the drip irrigation system on, but if the levels are high then it would not turn the system on, thus saving more water than usual. Solar panels attached to it would harness the solar energy and store it in photoelectric cells. If it were cloudy, then the solar energy would not be harnessed. So, an external power source would power everything. The basic principles used are that of drip irrigation and harnessing of solar energy, and combining these with other activities like testing the soil pH, sensing the light in the environment and sensing the temperature.
The Indian economy is an agrarian economy, yet it contributes to only 1/3rd of our GDP. The IAD is one revolution in the field of agriculture which, by saving water in large quantities and automating the entire agricultural system, yet not compromising on the requirements of the crops, enables the farmers to achieve a better output. This integration of various existing technologies is the key for agricultural development in India, which would not only lead to economic development but would also save large quantities of water on a daily basis.
2. Aim & Objective:
The basic aim and objective of IAD is to not only conserve water but also to automate the entire agricultural system to provide dual benefits: first, reduced human effort, and second, enhanced precision of processes which would ultimately result in betterment of the quality of the produce.
3. Materials and Methods:
The materials and components required for recreating the whole concept for demonstrational purposes are: battery, resistors, moisture sensor, LEDs, water/water source, jumper wires, bread board, Arduino Uno Board, a base/farm setup, solenoid valve, water container
Method: The moisture sensor senses the level of moisture in the soil and depending upon that, (which varies from crop to crop and is stored in the database of the IADConnect app) turns the drip irrigation pumps on and off. The water is controlled using a solenoid valve attached to the water source/storage. Accordingly, the field is watered.
4. Techniques/databases used:
The first prototype was built using the concept of Bluetooth connectivity. The device had a BLE shield, which helped connect it to the farmer’s mobile phone. Once the connection was established, the mobile phone acted as a remote control to make the device start the detection process. Upon realizing that the range of Bluetooth connectivity was very small when imagined in a field, and that a majority of the Indian farmer fraternity may not have access to mobile phones with Bluetooth facilities in them, the BLE shield was replaced by a GSM shield. This not only increases the range of connectivity by thousands of kilometres, but also solves the other major issue, as the mobile phones are themselves built around the concept of GSM connectivity. The device is now converted into a mobile phone because of the GSM module placed in it, and acts as a better link between the farmer and his field. A sim card is placed inside this GSM module. This greatly simplifies the process as once the farmer calls the device, the detection process would be initiated after three full rings. The irrigation process would be completed and the moisture level at which the valve stopped the flow of water would be sent to the farmer via an SMS. This would enable the farmer to keep a track of the regularities in the values at which the irrigation stops.
5. Unique Features
There are several unique features associated with the IAD, such as:
1. One big advantage and feature is that it reduces human intervention and still ensures proper irrigation.
2. The pH results would enable the farmer to ensure proper soil depending on the crop being grown.
3. It occupies negligible area in the field, thus not affecting the gross cropped area of the field.
4. Moreover, being cost effective, it would not affect the pocket of the Indian farmer. [Note: A large number of members of the farmer fraternity lies in the BPL (Below Poverty Line) Region.]
5. The IAD promotes water conservation, thus helping in reducing water scarcity.
6. It will keep the farmer relieved about the irrigation of his crops.
7. On a weekly basis, the adhesive sheets can be removed and sent for diagnostics on the kind of insects abundant in that area and the harm they cause to the crops.
8. The artificial light system, controlled by the IAD, ensures that uninterrupted photosynthesis happens during the day, even when it’s cloudy or dark.
6. Applications in Different Domains of Life
IAD not only plays an important role in irrigation, but in various other aspects of agricultural activity also. Some of them are as follows:
The project has great scope for future enhancements, which would enable it to lead to sustainable development on a much greater scale:
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