New wireless sensor for environmental friendly forest plant production

2 June, 2014 - 07:27

At Green Week in Brussels June 3-5, Acreo Swedish ICT will demonstrate a new wireless and low-cost sensor for zero-impact and cost-friendly forest plant production.

The miniaturized sensor has been developed within the EU-project Zephyr with focus on environmental zero-impact and cost-friendly functional system for large scale production of pre-cultivated forest regeneration materials adapted to transplanting. Acreo has also developed a compact and low cost optical system for following development of the seedlings’ by measuring shoot height and total leaf area in combination with a flexible software for adjustment to different plant colors.

- Integration of these new technologies will make a drastic change to state-of-the-art in forest nursery production. Apart from being more resource-efficient, it will also contribute to the environmental protection through biodiversity defending, water recycling, strong reduction of fertilizers and avoidance of pesticides, says Cristina Rusu, senior researcher at Acreo Swedish ICT.

The ‘mini’ soil sensor measures the water content and total amount of ions in the soil. The ion content in fertilizer is higher than in soil, thus both over-use of fertilizer and possible damage on sensitive roots can be prevented by monitoring the ion level. This could be the first miniaturized, low cost and wireless soil sensor to reach the market that can be used for applications from ‘mini soil plugs’ (green-houses) to sensors network on the field. The soil parameters data can be sent wirelessly via Bluetooth low energy to Android or IOS mobile platform with a transmission distance of at least 20 meters measured indoor without free line-of-sight. The data can also be sent via cable to a PC. Moreover, it will allow a certified and standardized production of reforestation materials, with a noticeable increasing of the efficiency of the reforestation operations.

The Green Week conference takes place June 3-5, 2014 in Brussels. It is the biggest annual conference on European environment policy. Themes 2014 are Circular Economy, Resource Efficiency & Waste.

Go to Green Week