Soil Moisture Profiling

Agriculture, research, education and other applications utilize soil moisture data. The availability of water in soil is an important parameter for successful plant growth. Having a real time system for measuring soil moisture allows for more focused and timely irrigation efforts.

Soil moisture profiling systems typically consist of an access tube containing sensors that measure soil moisture through capacitance at user-defined intervals. Integrating these sensors with NexSens data loggers and telemetry options provides a real-time solution for monitoring soil moisture levels.

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Case Studies


Wetland Mitigation Bank

The Great Miami Wetland Mitigation Bank is the only such bank in Ohio offering stream restoration credits. It offers credits for corporations and others who want to offset the wetlands they destroy through construction by buying newly restored wetland space. But alongside that mission is another that is mapping the transport of gases as restored wetlands take shape. It is looking at the big question of whether or not newly restored wetlands are sources of greenhouse gases or sinks for them. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln, with funding from NASA, is heading up the work. Scientists with the school instrumented the mitigation bank with a number of monitoring stations to chart changes that a newly restored wetland undergoes.

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Watershed Monitoring

In order to improve water quality and protect drinking water, researchers at the St. Joseph River Watershed in Indiana are working to identify best management practices that will reduce soil erosion and the amount of nutrients and chemicals in surface water runoff. The research area includes a variety of crop and soil types that undergo different agricultural and water management practices. Characterizing water quality in runoff from different site conditions and agricultural treatments will help identify which land management practices are most effective at protecting water resources.

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Plant Yield Effects from CO2 Injection

Beacon Tech Net, of Murrells Inlet, S.C., is attempting to determine how much the dry mass of plants, namely the CX-1 sweet potato, will increase with various levels of CO2. Ultimately, Beacon Tech Net hopes to use CO2 pulled from the emissions of a fossil fuel-burning power plant as a fertilizer to enhance the dry mass of crops. A grant from the South Carolina Department of Agriculture, through the support of the South Carolina Renewable Energy Infrastructure Fund, enables this research. In 2008, a 40% increase in dry mass of the CX-1 sweet potato occurred with 3,000 parts per million, verses ambient air of approximately 380 parts per million.

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