Available at: http://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/theses/1184
Date of Award
MS in Electrical Engineering
Dr. Albert. A. Liddicoat
High-Speed Mobile Networks for Modern Farming and Agricultural Systems
High-speed mobile networks are necessary for agriculture to inventory individual plant health, maximize yield and minimize the resources applied. More specifically, real-time information on individual plant status is critical to decisions regarding the management of resources reserved and expended. This necessity can be met by the availability of environmental sensors (such as humidity, temperature, and pH) whose data is kept on storage servers connected to static and mobile local area networks. These static and mobile local area networks are connected to cellular, core and satellite networks. For instance, agricultural experts remotely working on vast acreage farms from business offices or while traveling can easily connect their notebook computers and other portable devices to these networks in order to check farm status, send email, read industry news or arrange a visit to neighbor farms or suppliers. Today, several mobile phone companies offer broadband service with 2Mbps downlink in rural and dense urban areas, however, they do not typically exist in farm areas. Although these networks (such as 802.11ac/n, 3G, 4G, etc) are significant achievements, they do not meet the projected needs of the agricultural industry. The present use model of high-speed networks for email and multimedia content, together with agriculture’s expected intensive use of real-time plant and environmental condition monitoring, with statistics/plots and real-time high resolution video, necessitates a highly integrated and highly available networked system. For agricultural experts, attentive to market needs, seamless high-speed wireless communication ‘anywhere, anytime at any speed’ is critical to enhancing their productivity and crop yields.