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Application of distributed wireless chloride sensors to environmental monitoring: Initial results

Harris, N., Cranny, A., Rivers, M., Smettem, K.ORCID: 0000-0003-2650-4429 and Barrett-Lennard, E.G. (2016) Application of distributed wireless chloride sensors to environmental monitoring: Initial results. IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement, 65 (4). pp. 736-743.

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Over the next 30 years, it is anticipated that the world will need to source 70% more food to provide for the growing population, and it is likely that a significant amount of this will have to come from irrigated land. However, the quality of irrigation water is also important, and measuring the quality of this water will allow management decisions to be made. Soil salinity is an important parameter in crop yield, and in this paper, we describe a chloride sensor system based on a low-cost robust screen-printed chloride ion sensor, suitable for use in distributed sensor networks. Previously, this sensor has been used in controlled laboratory-based experiments, but here we provide evidence that the sensor will find application outside of the laboratory in field deployments. We report on three experiments using this sensor; one with a soil column, one using a fluvarium, and finally on an experiment in a greenhouse. All these give an insight into the movement of chloride over small distances with high temporal resolution. These initial experiments illustrate that the new sensors are viable and usable with relatively simple electronics, and although subject to ongoing development, they are currently capable of providing new scientific data at high spatial and temporal resolutions. Therefore, we conclude that such chloride sensors, coupled with a distributed wireless network, offer a new paradigm in hydrological monitoring and will enable new applications, such as irrigation using mixtures of potable and brackish water, with significant cost and resource saving.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: IEEE
Copyright: © 2016 IEEE.
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