Journal of the Brazilian Society of Mechanical Sciences
Print version ISSN 0100-7386
RENDE, A. and BIAGE, M.. Characterization of capacitive sensors for measurements of the moisture in irrigated soils. J. Braz. Soc. Mech. Sci. [online]. 2002, vol.24, n.3, pp. 226-233. ISSN 0100-7386. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-73862002000300012.
The irrigation is a technique developed to supply the hydric needs of the plants. The use of the water should be optimized so that the culture just has enough for its growth, avoiding waste. The objective of this work was to characterize the behavior of capacitive sensors of humidity to monitor the moisture in the soils. In first instance, it was appraised sensors with dielectric built of synthetic pomes stone (Rd = 0,4 and Rd = 0,8) and of soil samples (Rd = 0,8 and Rd = 1,0), being the Rd parameter a geometric factor that relates the distance between the capacitor plates with radius of the plates. For the calibration, the sensors were installed in PVC recipient of cylindrical shape, filled with soil. The set (sensor and soil) was humidified by capillary effect and submitted by a natural drying very slowly. The parameter readings were taken daily, which allowed obtain the curves relating the humidity percentage, expressed in terms of dry weight, with the output voltage fort the sensor. The experiments were performed in sand soil and in dark red latossolo. The obtained results allowed to infer that the behavior of the sensor has a specific feature for each type of soil, being, therefore, necessary to develop a own calibration curve for the sensor, when used in soil with specific characteristic.
Keywords : Automation; agricultural instrumentation; capacitive sensor.