Chapter 4

Greenhouse Environmental Control Systems

Greenhouse Wireless Sensor Network

Wireless sensor network (WSN) can form a useful part of the automation system architecture in modern greenhouses. A WSN is a group of small sensing devices, or nodes, that capture data in a given location. These nodes then send the raw data to a base station in the network, which transmits the data to a central computer that performs analysis and extracts meaningful information. Wireless communication can be used to collect the measurements, such as the temperature, light levels, carbon dioxide, and humidity. Compared to the cabled systems, the installation of WSN is fast, cheap, and easy. Moreover, it is easy to relocate the measurement points when needed by just moving sensor nodes from one location to another within a communication range of the coordinator device. If the greenhouse flora is high and dense, the small and light-weight nodes can even be hanged up to the plants’ branches.

Base Station

The base station, which is the network coordinator, manages the activities of individual nodes by periodically requesting data. In addition to data aggregation and analysis, the base station acts as a door to the Internet (typically a local area network), providing operators with remote access to the WSN’s data.

Sensor Nodes

A wireless sensor network (WSN) generally consists of a large number of low-cost and low-power multifunctional sensor nodes that are deployed throughout the greenhouse. A typical sensor node in a WSN consists of a wireless communication unit, a microprocessor, a data acquisition unit, memory unit, and, sensors.

User Interface

The user interface is arguably the most important part of this system as it allows the growers to use the data and derive maximum benefit from this system. Some of the features in the user interface include the spatial view and the chart view.

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