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International Journal of Distributed Sensor Networks
Volume 1 (2005), Issue 2, Pages 149-162
Original Article

A Reactive Soil Moisture Sensor Network: Design and Field Evaluation

1School of Computer Science & Software Engineering, The University of Western Australia, Australia
2Centre for Water Research, The University of Western Australia, Australia
3Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology, The Australian National University, Australia
4CSIRO ICT Centre, Australia

Copyright © 2005 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Wireless sensor network technology has the potential to reveal finegrained, dynamic changes in monitored variables of an outdoor landscape. But there are significant problems to be overcome in order to realize this vision in working systems. This paper describes the design and implementation of a reactive, event driven network for environmental monitoring of soil moisture and evaluates its effectiveness. A novel feature of our solution is its reactivity to the environment: when rain falls and soil moisture is changing rapidly, measurements are collected frequently, whereas during dry periods, between rainfall, measurements are collected less often. Field trials demonstrating the reactivity, robustness, and longevity of the network are presented and evaluated, and future improvements proposed.