[737] - Evaluation of a low-cost soil water content sensor

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Bogena, H., Huisman, J. A., Oberdörster, C., Vereecken, H., 2007. Evaluation of a low-cost soil water content sensor. Journal of Hydrology, 344, 32 - 42. DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2007.06.032.
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Title(s):Main Title: Evaluation of a low-cost soil water content sensor
Description(s):Abstract: Wireless sensor networks are a promising newin situmeasurement technology for monitoring soil water content changes with a high spatial and temporal resolution for large areas. However, to realise sensor networks at the small basin scale (e.g. 500 sensors for an area of 25 ha), the costs for a single sensor have to be minimised. Furthermore, the sensor technique should be robust and operatewith a lowenergy consumption to achieve a long operation time of the network. This paper evaluates a low-cost soil water content sensor (ECH2O probemodel EC-5, Decagon Devices Inc., Pullman,WA) using laboratory aswell as field experiments. The field experiment features a comparison ofwater contentmeasurements of a forest soil at 5 cm depth using TDR and EC-5 sensors. The laboratory experiment is based on a standardized sensor characterisation methodology, which uses liquid standards with a known dielectric permittivity. The results of the laboratory experiment showed that the EC-5 sensor has good output voltage sensitivity below a permittivity of 40, but is less sensitive when permittivity is higher. The experiments also revealed a distinct dependence of the sensor reading on the applied supply voltage. Therefore, a functionwas obtained that allows the permittivity to be determined fromthe sensor reading and the supply voltage. Due to the higher frequency of the EC-5 sensor, conductivity effects were less pronounced compared to the older EC-20 sensor (also Decagon Devices Inc.). However, the EC-5 sensor reading was significantly influenced by temperature changes. The field experiment showed distinct differences between TDR and EC-5 measurements that could be explained to a large degree with the correction functions derived from the laboratory measurements. Remaining errors are possibly due to soil variability and discrepancies between measurement volume and installation depth. Overall, we conclude that the EC-5 sensor is suitable for wireless network applications. However, the results of this paper also suggest that temperature and electric conductivity effects on the sensor reading have to be compensated using appropriate correction functions.
Identifier(s):DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2007.06.032
Responsible Party
Creator(s):Author: Heye Bogena
Author: Johan A. Huisman
Author: Christoph Oberdörster
Author: Harry Vereecken
Publisher:Elsevier B.V
TR32 Topic:Soil
Subject(s):CRC/TR32 Keywords: Soil Water, Wireless Sensor, Content Sensor
File Details
File Name:2007_Bogena_JoH.pdf
Data Type:Text
Size(s):11 Pages
File Size:583 kB (0.569 MB)
Date(s):Date Accepted: 2007-06-15
Mime Type:application/pdf
Data Format:PDF
Download Permission:OnlyTR32
General Access and Use Conditions:For internal use only
Access Limitations:For internal use only
Licence:TR32DB Data policy agreement
Measurement Region:Ellebach
Measurement Location:Jülich (research centre)
Specific Informations - Publication
Article Type:Journal
Source:Journal of Hydrology
Number Of Pages:11
Page Range:32 - 42
Metadata Details
Metadata Creator:Heye Bogena
Metadata Created:2013-12-02
Metadata Last Updated:2013-12-02
Funding Phase:1
Metadata Language:English
Metadata Version:V40
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