Date of Award

6-2018

Degree Name

MS in Agriculture - BioResource and Agriculture Systems

Department

Bioresource and Agricultural Engineering

Advisor

Bo Liu

Abstract

The purpose of this research is to design, develop, evaluate, and demonstrate an open source gateway and mobile application for the SmartFarm open source decision support system to improve agricultural stewardship, environmental conservation, and provide farmers with a system that they own. There are very limited options for an open source gateway for collecting data on the farm. The options available are: expensive, require professional maintenance, are not portable between systems, improvements are made only by the manufacturer, limited in customization options, difficult to operate, and data is owned by the company rather than the farmer. The gateway is designed to send data to the cloud from remote SmartFarm Data Acquisition (DAQ) nodes, collect measurement data from remote SmartFarm DAQ nodes, provide a means of wirelessly programming remote SmartFarm DAQ nodes, and a tool that provides data analysis and insight from remote SmartFarm DAQ nodes. It is evaluated to work with 900MHz radios, SmartFarm DAQ nodes, and costs $35. Its setup takes 4 steps and ~20 minutes installation time, does not require maintenance, can utilize Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and other wireless protocols, and software can port to other systems. The gateway measured data rate of 93.4Mbit/s internet upload speed, passing a range of 252 to 1592 bytes of data from a remote node to the cloud, consumes 2.8 Watts, with a software efficiency of 25% CPU usage, a measurement efficiency of 1 message every 15 seconds, can provide data analysis with the cloud service tool, and it can wirelessly program remote DAQ nodes. The goal of the mobile app is educating farmers, academia, and community members, of farming sustainably today, and for the future. The app is used as a tool to aid people in farming sustainably, teaching agricultural stewardship, and teaching environmental conservation. The app is evaluated with adaptation of 85.1%, frequency of use at 0.12 respondents/minute, and 22 respondents said they find the SmartFarm DSS as beneficial. By developing, evaluating, and demonstrating the gateway and mobile app, the SmartFarm decision support system is a viable option for improving agricultural stewardship and retaining farmers’ ownership of their data.

Available for download on Monday, July 19, 2021

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