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Development of a remote environmental monitoring and control framework for tropical horticulture and verification of its validity under unstable network connection in rural area

Nugroho, Andri Prima, Okayasu, Takashi, Hoshi, Takehiko, Inoue, Eiji, Hirai, Yasumaru, Mitsuoka, Muneshi, Sutiarso, Lilik
Computers and electronics in agriculture 2016 v.124 pp. 325-339
automation, environmental monitoring, environmental sustainability, field experimentation, irrigation management, microirrigation, rural areas, soil water content, tomatoes, tropical and subtropical horticulture, Indonesia
This study focuses on the development and evaluation of a remote field environmental monitoring and control framework, implementing a local-global management strategy to overcome the unstable network connection in the rural area. The framework consists of environmental monitoring and control node as the local management subsystem (LMS), and the web data providing and system management as the global management subsystem (GMS) to establish a simple and flexible remote environmental monitoring and control based on a cloud platform. The supporting features are online and offline environmental monitoring, synchronization of system configuration, actuation, and offline management. Two field tests were conducted to verify its performances and functionalities, (1) environmental monitoring on tropical horticulture cultivation in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, and (2) implementation of the monitoring and control for automatic drip irrigation control based on soil moisture content for tomato. As the result of the first test, the developed framework could help to maintain the sustainability of environmental monitoring under unstable network connection over 80% availability of the data with local offline measurement up to 24% of the total entries. From the second test result, the framework could support the real-time monitoring and control of soil moisture content as well as increase the system flexibility in the adjustment of the system configuration remotely. The control system has 0.78% error (E) and 99.2% in-range soil moisture content (L<xt<U) measurement during the 10-days observation. We concluded that the proposed framework might become a useful tool for a simple remote environmental monitoring and control under unstable network connection in the rural area. The framework has the potential to be adopted in cloud-based tropical horticulture supporting system, aimed for long-term environmental monitoring and controlling local facilities.