Collaboration Leverages Internet of Things, Sensors in Wine Grapes

The vision of having license-free community sensor networks for agricultural users has made a giant leap closer to reality. A team of collaborating companies connected a Vinduino agricultural sensor station to the eVineyard application via a long-range wireless data connection, managed by The Things Network.

The Things Network is a global community, building a global Internet of Things (IoT) network with deployments in over 89 countries. By enabling agricultural communities to set up subscription free wireless data networks, sensor stations no longer need proprietary gateways, but can use a shared access point. The network uses a 5-mile range and low power radio frequency protocol called LoRaWAN.

The eVineyard vineyard management application is fully customized to meet the needs of United States grape growers and offers many features, like an automated irrigation time determination, based on local weather data and Vinduino soil moisture measurements. This unique approach increases the ease of use and precision of vineyard irrigation, bringing water savings to the next level.

The Vinduino sensor station uses a custom designed LM-110-H1 module by USGlobalSat, Inc., allowing support for LoRaWAN wireless networks with fast time-to-market.

“This is great progress, the result of our collaborative effort makes use of agricultural sensor technologies so much easier and affordable,” says Reinier van der Lee, founder and CEO of Vinduino. “With our sensor system you can optimize irrigation and save an average of 25% water. On top of that, you can share a gateway with hundreds of sensors. A few gateways can cover a whole agricultural area, allowing tremendous savings on wireless cost.”

“When we first heard about Vinduino, we found it a perfect fit for The Things Network and its global community,” says Johan Stokking, tech lead and co-founder of The Things Network. “It’s open source, it’s well documented and it solves a real problem the right way, using LoRaWAN. The Things Network connected gateways do not only cover the eVinyard solution, but also any other existing or future LoRaWAN solution in the vicinity.”

“Now, savings in vineyard management with the help of sensors are accessible, affordable, and easy to set-up and use for any vineyard – literally,” adds Matic Serc from eVineyard. “The new offering will be beneficial both for our existing customers, as well as new ones who will join our eVineyard family. This is a great example of how IoT technologies transform agriculture, and we’re excited to be working with Vinduino and The Things Network at the forefront of this wave.”

”Our collaboration resulted in constant and ongoing value proposition increase & development of the Vinduino System with GlobalSat’s LoRa™ Modules,” says Larry Liang, COO of USGlobalSat, Inc. “The Vinduino system squarely fills an agriculture market void in the precision farming vertical not addressed by any other product solution available today, and we only foresee many wonderfully new developments for the space moving forward.”

All the mentioned products will be available for shipping to USA customers before end of this year. This allows for timely installation and irrigation water saving in the upcoming 2018 growing season.

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