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An Accurate Measurement Sensor for Volumetric Soil Water Content

Award Information

Department of Agriculture
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
1995 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Sensit Company
RR 1, Box 38 Portland, ND 58274
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Woman-Owned: Yes
Minority-Owned: Yes
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 1995
Title: An Accurate Measurement Sensor for Volumetric Soil Water Content
Agency: USDA
Contract: N/A
Award Amount: $55,000.00


Self-calibrating, low-cost, microprocessor based, combined soil volumetric water content, conductivity, and temperature sensor is proposed herein. The objective of this feasiblity study is to conduct tests to evaluate the device under a variety of conditions and to demonstrate the validity and viability of the sensor design. Existing low-cost, high volume commercial devices designed to determine soil moisture by measuring electrical properties (conductance or capacitance) of an admixture of soil, water, salts, fertilizers, etc. have not been able to adequately resolve, utilize and/or interpret the components of reactive impedance (conductance/resistance and impedance) to provide an accurate, and repeatable measurements, especially measurements of soil moisture under a broad range of field conditions. As a result, low cost, currently available sensors may operate under limited or idealized conditions, but do not function properly under a range of typical real world conditions. An improved electronic design overcomes the short comings of earlier sensor designs providing a true, accurae measurement of capacitive reactance due to water in soil under a wide range of conditions. In addition, other significant factors effecting the soil water content determination, including temperature, conductivity, and in-situ calibration, are addressed and solved in this innovative design.

Principal Investigator:


Business Contact:

Mr. Paul Stockton
Small Business Information at Submission:

Sensit Company
RR 1, Box 38 Portland, ND 58274

Number of Employees: N/A
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No