Cyber-Physical Systems Approach to Irrigation Systems
The semiconductor industry has successfully brought silicon technology to a price point that is accessible for application domains such as irrigation systems, which currently wastefully utilizes 70% of all fresh water. Moreover, worldwide fresh water resources will soon reach a deficit due to ever growing demand. However, the state of the art precision irrigation systems utilize sophisticated water delivery drip lines, yet are only controlled at source by the gut of the end user. This work demonstrates that the scientific foundation of cyber-physical systems (CPS) can be used to design automated, distributed and intelligent precision irrigation systems that improve irrigation efficiency. Therefore, this work explores and analyzes in depth the cross section of irrigation practices and cyber-physical systems knowledge to show a path toward a successful adaptation of silicon technology that solves one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century: the fresh water scarcity.
To that end, this work presents contributions that complete a novel vision for next generation precision irrigation systems, which can be grouped into three main thrusts: (1) circuit inspired models for irrigation system components and scheduling strategies by analogy method, (2) CPS approach based (a) design methodology capable of comparing irrigation controllers, (b) simulation tools and software for analyzing the distributed behavior of the specialized irrigation controllers, (c) topology adaptation technique that utilizes multi-graphs to mine the hydro-wireless topology of the IoT controllers, and (d) a distributed controller implementation with novel energy harvesting and low power support for irrigation controllers and sensors, (3) overhead vision solutions for health and growth monitoring. The observations, analysis and insight from experimental studies were in collaboration with Rancho California Water District, growers and practitioners.