Laboratory Products

Three-in-One Soil Sensor Boosts Yield in Greenhouses

Jun 12 2018 Read 213 Times

Labcell, the UK distributor for Decagon Devices (Meter Group), believes that many commercial operators of greenhouses could increase yields and/or cut water consumption by using the latest GS3 Greenhouse Sensor. This cost-effective sensor, which is typically connected to an Em50 data logger or an SDI-12 logging system, provides accurate measurements of soil moisture as well as temperature and electrical conductivity (EC).

Accuracies for the three measurements are, respectively, +/-3% VMC (volumetric water content), +/-1°C and +/-5%, though the actual accuracy depends on factors such as generic or custom calibration, substrate composition and measurement range; custom calibration can improve the soil moisture accuracy to +/-1 to 2%. An operating frequency of 70 MHz minimises salinity and textural effects, which enables the sensor to be used in virtually all types of substrate, and the measurement speed is just 150 ms.

By measuring and analysing soil moisture, users can optimise irrigation regimes to increase yields and avoid using water unnecessarily.

The GS3 sensor uses the same proven technology as Decagon’s other soil moisture sensors but this ruggedised model features robust stainless steel needles and a housing in which the electronics are epoxy-encapsulated. It is equally suitable for use in soil and soilless substrates such as peat or perlite. The slender needles easily push through the substrate, causing minimal disturbance. Each sensor is simply inserted from the surface, adjacent to the plant, or inserted into the side of potted plants or, where deeper measurements are required, into the side of a hole that is subsequently backfilled.

Data from the GS3 sensor can be collected locally using a Decagon Device Em50 data logger or an alternative logger, or the sensor can be connected to a logging system using the SDI-12 communications standard. In addition, data can be output as analogue 3.6 V signals.

Labcell is the sole UK distributor for the GS3 Greenhouse Sensor. Download a detailed data sheet directly from Labcell's website at www.labcell.com.

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