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Smart Orchard Tech Providers & Sensors

Learn more about the sensors being deployed at the 2021 Smart Orchard

In our last post we talked about the goals for the 2021 Smart Orchards Project @ Washington Fruit & Chiawana / Columbia Reach alongside researchers at the WTFRC & WSU. To properly inform growers with data it is crucial that IoT agtech sensors are strategically deployed throughout orchard blocks. These IoT agtech devices harness data that ultimately obtain a more precise allocation of resources to increase fruit yields and quality while saving money on irrigation, chemicals, labor, etc. Once this data is harnessed, the next critical step is for to compare all of the data from each tech or imagery provider to get a side by side comparison. This will allow us to pinpoint data accuracy and the viability each sensor has for a growers usability and price points. Continue reading below to learn more about each sensor.


Table of Contents:

  • Meter Group Sensors provided by Dave Brown

  • FloraPulse, Meter Group, & Edaphic Scientific Sensors provided by Lee Kalcsits

  • Dynamax- Sap Flow, Infrared Temperature, Dendrometer, Soil Moisture, & Weather Station

  • Thingy, IoT- LoRaWAN Connectivity, Micro-Weather Station, Wind, Rain, Soil, & Soil Moisture

  • Arable- In-field weather & plant monitoring system

  • WSU- Drone Imagery & CPS3.0

  • Green Atlas Cartographer & SoilOptix Digital Top Soil Mapping

  • Ceres- Plane Imagery

  • Aker Ag- Drone Imagery with Aker TrueCause™

  • CropVue- pest trap sensor and in canopy weather

Note: If you want to learn more about the sensors you can click on the images associated and be taken to the companies product page.


Research and Technology Provided by- Dave Brown


The ATMOS 41 micro climate weather stations is a small, affordable, easily installed, and durable weather station with 12 different weather variables. It was designed for continuous deployment in harsh climates, such as Africa, which means there are no moving parts to fail. Reliability and maintenance are simplified because there’s never any mechanical wear. Plus, the ATMOS 41 weather station is accurate. Specialized pins made of real gold measure every drop of rain. The 0.017 mm resolution means it can accurately measure small rainfall and even heavy dew events that other rain gauges miss. And, no moving parts means the ATMOS 41 anemometer is accurate at low wind speeds. Installation is also simplified as it has plug and play capabilities with near real-time data access from the cloud when used with the ZL6 data logger.

Using such a station allows the grower to obtain a variety of weather variables without having to constantly manage wear and tear on the device. This gives the grower more informed decisions with less to deal with.

The ATMOS 14, in-canopy weather station combines air temperature, relative humidity, barometric pressure, and vapor pressure all into one sensors. The Atmos 14 is a low-maintenance and rapid sensor designed to take temp/RH measurements. By keeping this sensor compact and durable, the grower can collect data even in tight, hard to reach places. Setup is simple as it has plug and play capabilities with near real-time data access from the cloud when used with the ZL6data logger.


A true full-range water potential sensor that’s low maintenance and low cost

The TEROS 21 water potential sensor is incredibly easy to use. It requires no maintenance, and it’s accurate enough for most applications. In fact, the TEROS 21 provides an even more accurate soil moisture picture than measuring water content alone. A water content sensor only shows the percentage of water in the soil, but add a TEROS 21 water potential sensor, and you’ll know if that water is available to plants and where it will move. Plus, unlike water content, matric potential isn’t dependent on soil type, so you can compare moisture between different sites. Not only that, the new Gen 2 version boasts an improved circuit, a more robust microprocessor, and an improved measurement range. It now measures all the way from near saturation to air dry (−5 to −100,000 kPa) making it the world’s first true full range water potential sensor.


Diseases and infections can destroy an entire crop, but at the same time, applying fungicides is costly and time-consuming. If you’re deciding when to spray by monitoring leaf wetness with a resistance grid sensor, you’ll have trouble accurately determining wetness duration without a lot of extra work.

The PHYTOS 31 lets you know leaf wetness in no uncertain terms. It measures both the onset and duration of wetness on a simulated leaf, which in turn predicts when the onset of certain diseases or infections may occur. It’s not only a more accurate instrument, it’s also the easiest to set up, making it a simple and straightforward solution to several problems.


Research and Technology Provided by- Lee Kalcsits

FloraPulse- Microtensiometer

The FloraPulse system is a microchip tensiometer (microtensiometer) that is embedded into the tree woody tissue and directly measures the water status, known as water potential. Because the measurement is taken directly inside the water-carrying tissue, readings are very accurate and reliable. Growers receive daily midday stem water potential readings, along with science-backed irrigation recommendations.

Meter Group- ECH20 EC-5

The EC-5 determines volumetric water content (VWC) by measuring the dielectric constant of the media using capacitance/frequency domain technology. Its 70 MHz frequency minimizes salinity and textural effects, making this sensor accurate in almost any soil or soilless media. Factory calibrations are included for mineral soils, potting soils, rockwool, and perlite.

Edaphic Scientific- Dendrometers

With a Trunk Dendrometer (top image), Stem Dendrometer (middle image), and a Fruit Dendrometer (bottom image), the Smart Orchard collaboration is able to measure:

  • Micro-variations of trunk radius in micron range

  • Tree trunk or stem diameter variations against

environmental variables

  • Stem growth dynamics

  • Ability to record both size and growth rate of intact rounded fruits in three diameter ranges within 7 to 160 mm.

  • The effect of irrigation rate and other environmental factors on both water balance and growth of fruits.

For more information click the images