Wireless Sensor Networks For Greenhouse Farming Information Technology Essay

This research concentrates on the development of Wireless Sensor Network for greenhouses in Pakistan, whether it is favorable or not; and is able to implement on different levels. In this paper, the solution (wireless sensor network) is reviewed.

Our research report will describe the implementation and design of wireless sensor network for greenhouse farming in order to monitor the environment.

Pakistan has the largest sector of agriculture. Our economy’s largest part depends upon the agriculture sector and it is the largest source of production, but sometimes it also faces some essential problems like unavailability of water, soil, pests and rapidly increase of population. Increase in population causes a major problem i.e. the resources persists to be the same and land for agriculture remain limited thus it creates difficulty to provide sufficient food production and it is unable to fulfill the necessities of people in Pakistan by using the same amount of resources.

In order to overcome land and resources problem agriculturist tried to manage it by introducing hydroponic framing and greenhouse farming as a way of growing plants using mineral solutions. With the help of this the production of food increases and it can overcome the food deficiency and price hike.

“Pakistan can enhance vegetable and fruit crops yield with hydroponic farming technology to overcome the food shortages and price hike, Ministry of Food and Agriculture (Minfa) said.” [1]

In the shift of traditional framing to greenhouse framing will help in a way that greenhouse framing require less water, lesser area for cultivation and it solves our land and water problem. An Important key factor is that we will be benefiting in a way that greenhouse farming provides controlled environment farming so the plants can have an environment favoring for their growth. But again there are some limitations in greenhouse/hydroponic farming is that it is about to grow plants under controlled environment and it is difficult to examine humidity and atmospheric temperature by installing wires in water based farming or under controlled environment.

This report helps in identifying the solution of these limitations and problems by introducing wireless sensor network that can replace wired sensor network and overcome the greenhouse monitoring problem as it is a low cost solution for environmental monitoring.

Greenhouse Farming In Pakistan

In Pakistan as population is growing rapidly and for the increasing population the cultivable regions are decreasing gradually, so the production of cultivable region is stable and we needed a technology that can actually help in this problem and provide a solution that can actually give more production under the same area to be used for cultivation.

Green house can provide, “controlled and favorable environment for the crops to grow and yield high in all the seasons.” [2]

Greenhouse is like a house that can allow sunlight to be entered and it has controlled environment that can control various things like air humidity, fogging, heating, ventilation, radiation, soil surface temperature, crop temperature, external and internal temperature, wind direction etc. these all variables can be controlled in greenhouse that can grow offseason food for better production.

The advantages that we can get from green house is that it can provide off season food products, higher production in limited area used to produce fruit and vegetables, wastage of water and fertilizers got reduced, and so for the pests and diseases that are also reduced with the help of greenhouse farming.

… “Fertirrigation variables can be controlled to allow an optimal growth and development of the crop.” [3]

In Pakistan there are many types of food products that can be grow in greenhouse vegetables like tomato, capsicum, spinach, brinjal and chillies etc., other flowers like rose, orchid etc. and many nursery vegetables and crops can be grown. There are many projects going on in Pakistan for the better production of vegetables and crop by using greenhouse technology and they are saving billions of rupees, projects like Agribusiness Support Fund (ASF), Farmer Enterprise Groups (FEGs) and Fruit & Vegetable Development Project (FDVP) are all projects that are working and has worked on the agribusiness sector of Pakistan.

II(A). Environmental challegnes in Greenhouse Pakistan

Pakistan is facing a lot of environmental challenges, with the cost, land and resources problems we should not forget the issues of our climate and environmental conditions that are not the same and always keep on varying. Pakistan environment is what we can say is unpredictable. In environmental challenges things that are highlighted are air pollution, lesser implantation, noise pollution, garbage issue, cultivated area is lesser to the growth of population, and area is useless as water level goes down.

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In Pakistan due to the climatic conditions, greenhouse should be structured that it remains cool, it is opposite to the western greenhouse that are typically made in a way that they are heating inside greenhouse for crop production, but we have to maintain cool temperature to ensure that crop produces are provided with the sufficient temperature.

There are many problems related to the environmental challenges that Pakistan faces like it is difficult to maintain proper controlled environment.

Food crops and vegetables are grown under protected environment in greenhouse that controls on larger level of controlled environment.

Climatic changes has arises many challenges for global community and it is a threat for Pakistan as well. So we need to overcome this problem in order to increase our productivity.

II (B) Environmental Monitoring In Greenhouse Farming

Environmental monitoring in greenhouse farming is an important factor that needs to be ensuring that it is monitoring the temperature, humidity etc. time to time. The environmental factors as discussed above can cause harmful effects in greenhouse farming and greenhouse needs to keep in high monitoring environment so that the problem that might arise can reduce.

For these challenges, to be solve; we need to control the environment and to control; as I have mentioned above that we need to maintain cool environment inside the greenhouse for controlling inside and outside temperature. For greenhouse we need to make sure that inside everything in under controlled like air humidity, fogging, heating, ventilation, radiation, soil surface temperature, crop temperature, external and internal temperature, wind direction etc. and we need to give immediate response to the monitoring of greenhouse.

In comparison to normal farming greenhouse is a success because it maintains the temperature and it does not allow ultra violet rays to be entered in greenhouse and thus it protects crops from UV. And the internal temperature has to be controlled because of greenhouse.D:D drive thingisabahatuni4th Year8th SemesterResearch ReportRR posterimages18 Sensor Network.JPG

Presently, the methods of greenhouse farming in Pakistan are not done significantly and are monitored by traditional way of monitoring i.e. wired sensors due to the unavailability of modern tools and techniques for using automated sensors that are specified as wireless sensors. Making use of wireless sensors will let it enable that it will make it greenhouse farming scalable. Whereas wired sensors requires large amount of wires to be deployed which is not practicable because of high maintenance cost and poor working.

Sensor Networks And Applications

A sensor network is a computer network Composed of a large number of sensor nodes. [4].

There are sensors that can be wired and can be wireless. These sensors are made in order to monitor physical and environmental conditions. These sensors communicate with each other and pass the data through network and to the main server. Now the wireless sensors have the ability to move in bi directions where as in wired sensors they won’t move in bi directions.

The key application areas of sensors are area “monitoring, environmental monitoring, water monitoring, agriculture” [5]

Wired Sensor vs. wireless Sensor Network

Wireless sensor networks are used in order to maintain the temperature and humidity levels inside the greenhouse.

“Wireless sensor networks are quickly gaining popularity due to the fact that they are potentially low cost solutions to a variety of real-world challenges.”[8]

There are several sensors in wireless sensor network that are attached to microcontroller and a radio module, these sensor nodes communicate collectively and “perform sensing over a large area or in inaccessible terrains.”[9]

When there is some changes in the temperature and humidity level to the marked level then alerts generated and greenhouse will be notified when the temperature and humidity drops below specific levels, the greenhouse manager must be notified by alert.

… “Some wireless sensor networks are easy

to install, they are also easy to move as the needs of the application change.”[5]

The tiny sensor nodes, which consist of sensing, data processing, and communicating components, leverage the idea of sensor networks. [4]

The major difference between both wired and wireless sensors are that the wired system is costly and the measurement system is vulnerable. The wired measurement is difficult to reallocate and it is difficult to remove from isntallement whereas wireless sensors are cost effective, they consists of small size, they can be best solution for temporary installement.

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Wireless sensors are … “is an attractive and cost-efficient option to build the required measurement system.”[10]

Problem definition

“Can Wireless sensor networks replace wired sensor networks in Pakistan?”

Sub Problems

“To concentrate on the barriers coming across the widely use of WSN in Pakistan agriculture.”

“To understand the necessity of WSN in Hydroponic Farming & Green House Farming; this will not only process the sensed data but also take actions.”

Wireless sensor network is a wide range of applications having various features. Our research is focusing on the challenges faced by hydroponic farming and then we will review the technology of environmental monitoring in this situation.

The Adoption of WSN in Pakistan is lesser. As it seems that in Pakistan WSN is not used widely as we are unaware of the advantages WSN provide. And there is no such training of this new technology to get benefit from WSN.

Hypothesis / Proposition / Research Question 1:

“To identify that WSN application is in Hydroponic Farming (Bio-Blitz) as a necessity to overcome some major flaws.”

Hypothesis / Proposition / Research Question 2:

“To concentrate on the barriers coming across the widely use of WSN in Pakistan agriculture.”

Materials And Methods

There was a survey conducted for wireless sensor network for environmental monitoring and it has covered areas like greenhouse data safety, awareness of wireless sensor network, what they use for environmental monitoring, what are the reason of switching or not switching to wireless sensor network, future of wireless sensors and their level of understanding WSN and its configuration. These survey questionnaire were sent to the respective groups which conducts greenhouse farming, there were 3 groups, 8 greenhouses and storage houses and 4 were taken from technical staff of wireless sensors that are used in household stuff. By filling those questionnaire from people of different background gives us a clear idea how people in Pakistan takes wireless sensor networks for their use.

The questionnaire is divided into 3 parts; the first one is about the personal information of respondent i.e. kept optional, the second part is greenhouse monitoring and wireless sensors in general and third part comprise of questions that are related to technical and configuration of Wireless sensor network. Along with the questionnaire we have provided brief information about WSN and their application in greenhouse farming.

We have used quantitative and qualitative methodology both for the implementation of our research. We are using questionnaire and research papers i.e. literature review, for doing our research in agriculture sector in Hydroponic farming.

We will be using almost 2 to 3 designs for our research as it is a practical research so we need to do research on the structure of WSN and its application in Green House farming. For that we are require to study case studies, surveys for understanding the environment related information in order to advance the farming strategies. Literature surveys which will make us to know our problem from each and every aspect, modeling of WSN in Bio-Blitz i.e. how sensors will work in the dummy so that we will propose for bio-blitz. And we will be looking up for the results that could bring improvement in the hydroponic framing in Pakistan.

We have used

-Questionnaire.

-Secondary Data (internet, Research Papers).

Results

The results of this report are based upon the questionnaire and we justify those results on the basis of our literature review.

VII (A). Demographic of Respondents

In this survey of different group of people the result shows that the 49% of people belongs to the age group of 40 to 50 years. There were 69% of people who did not belong to agriculture background and still working with the group that works for greenhouse framing.

VII (B). WSN Awareness

Wireless sensor networks are the new technology that are novel in under develop countries like Pakistan, rarely people have use it in greenhouses, there is vast adoption in household things like sensor based doors and alarm system etc. survey shows that only 59% people have knowledge of it and 7% have used it and know the configuration whereas; 29% people after reading the attached information have said that they appreciate it and will recommend the implementation of this to their greenhouse and storage house for monitoring the environment.

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VII(C). Environmental monitoring methods

In our survey questionnaire we have asked that what kind out method they are using for the environment monitoring so disappointedly there were 89% of people who uses traditional method of monitoring, whereas 7% who actually know and implement in their greenhouse/ storage houses and 4% people who never monitor their environment because their greenhouse were low cost greenhouse and they can’t afford any system to be implemented for environment monitoring.

Discussion

Our report shows that for greenhouse farming in Pakistan we really need to improve our method of monitoring the humidity, temperature and soil temperature etc. under such a controlled environment. It is our necessity to improve in this area as we have mentioned earlier that Pakistan’s largest economy comes from agriculture sector and it needs a lot of improvement in terms of use of technology, a technology that can increase the productivity and makes life easier. In our country people are reluctant to adopt new technology, our statistics shows that there are number of people who are not using wireless sensor because they are unaware of it, so what our government needs is just to bring awareness in people and conduct their training so that they are capable of working with Wireless sensors and leave that traditional way of monitoring environment.

This research showed that greenhouses in Pakistan are not using wireless sensors due to the lack of awareness, the adoptability of new technology is lesser and there is no training for them to instruct and manufacture sensors in Pakistan. The barriers coming across the widely use of this cost effective technology is just the lack of knowledge on this technology and sensors domain.

Conclusion

The wireless sensor network are the sensors that allow component sensors to communicate and send data without the disturbance whereas wired system make the monitoring difficult as there are wires that are installed which makes monitoring a bit difficult, secondly it is costly and it requires installment, whereas if we talk about wireless they are easy to install, and they are ideal for temporary network setup and WSN are cost effective, there were many people who thought that wireless sensors would be costly as compared to wired but they were wrong and on providing information about this domain they came to know and said that they will recommend it to their management for monitoring environment inside the greenhouse. “wires would disturb the normal operation of the environment to monitor.”[7]

Wireless sensor network are very easy to install and they install on temporary basis. One can remove it anytime.

… “Rapid progress in our ability to accurately monitor and control irrigation scheduling in nursery and greenhouse environments.” [6]

Our research is a little contribution towards the betterment and contributed in making a technology to be use in our agriculture sector to increase productivity. The reason of choosing this topic was to make sure that through this research we contribute to obtain something useful at minimal cost for greenhouse in Pakistan by using wireless sensors. by applying this technology in our agriculture sector we would improve it and make it next generation agriculture because our 80% of production comes from this sector and we have to make it stronger.

Wireless sensor network with the greenhouse technology would make a better option to choose for agriculture and to use WSN for sensing the data which was not possible before.

Acknowledgment

Overview

Referencess

[1]https://groups.google.com/group/pakfruitexport/browse_thread/thread/ad940b53c41604d7?hl=en

[2]http://www.phdeb.org.pk/TechnologiesTechniques/greenhouse_technology.php

[3] Andrzej Pawlowski , Jose Luis Guzman, Francisco Rodríguez, Manuel Berenguel ,José Sánchez and Sebastián Dormido , “Simulation of Greenhouse Climate Monitoring and Control with Wireless Sensor Network and Event-Based Control”, Sensors 2009 www.mdpi.com/journal/sensors

[4]http://www7.informatik.uni-erlangen.de/~dressler/lectures/seminar-sensornetze-ss05/paper-ying-miao.pdf

[5]http://www.rimtengg.com/iscet/proceedings/pdfs/misc/176.pdf

[6] John D. Lea-Cox1, Andrew G. Ristvey2, David S. Ross3 and George F. Kantor4, “Deployment of Wireless Sensor Networks for Irrigation and Nutrient Management in Nursery and Greenhouse Operations”, SNA Research Conference Vol. 54 2009

[7] JACQUES PANCHARD, “WIRELESS SENSOR NETWORKS FOR MARGINAL FARMING IN INDIA”, Lausanne, EPFL 2008.

[8] I. John Paul Walters, Zhengqiang Liang, Weisong Shi, and Vipin Chaudhary”Wireless Sensor Network Security: A Survey”, Security in Distributed, Grid, and Pervasive Computing Yang Xiao,(2006 Auerbach Publications, CRC Press.

[9] Leong Boon Tik, Chan ToongKhuan, SellappanPalaniappan, “Monitoring of an Aeroponic Greenhouse with a Sensor Network”, IJCSNS International Journal of Computer Science and Network Security, VOL.9 No.3, March 2009.

[10] TeemuAhonen, ReinoVirrankoski and Mohammed Elmusrati, “Greenhouse Monitoring with Wireless Sensor Network”, University of Vaasa, Finland

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