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Review of novel and emerging proximal soil moisture sensors for use in agriculture


Hardie, M, Review of novel and emerging proximal soil moisture sensors for use in agriculture, Sensors, 20, (23) Article 6934. ISSN 1424-8220 (2020) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2020 the author. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. The article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license

DOI: doi:10.3390/s20236934


The measurement of soil moisture in agriculture is currently dominated by a small number of sensors, the use of which is greatly limited by their small sampling volume, high cost, need for close soil–sensor contact, and poor performance in saline, vertic and stony soils. This review was undertaken to explore the plethora of novel and emerging soil moisture sensors, and evaluate their potential use in agriculture. The review found that improvements to existing techniques over the last two decades are limited, and largely restricted to frequency domain reflectometry approaches. However, a broad range of new, novel and emerging means of measuring soil moisture were identified including, actively heated fiber optics (AHFO), high capacity tensiometers, paired acoustic / radio / seismic transceiver approaches, microwave-based approaches, radio frequency identification (RFID), hydrogels and seismoelectric approaches. Excitement over this range of potential new technologies is however tempered by the observation that most of these technologies are at early stages of development, and that few of these techniques have been adequately evaluated in situ agricultural soils.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:matric potential, capacitance, soil moisture probes, dielectric constant, soil humidity, soil water FDR, TDR, sensors, agriculture
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Agriculture, land and farm management
Research Field:Agricultural hydrology
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Soils
UTAS Author:Hardie, M (Mr Marcus Hardie)
ID Code:142088
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:17
Deposited By:TIA - Research Institute
Deposited On:2020-12-11
Last Modified:2021-03-24
Downloads:18 View Download Statistics

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