Gadget Renesas

Linking Ideas and Electronics

GR Atelier

Title:Smart agriculture (2nd prize in GRDC 2015 in India)

Displayed Name:SECE / Coimbatore

Smart agriculture (2nd prize in GRDC 2015 in India)

Concept / Overview
The continuous increasing demand of the food requires the rapid improvement in food production technology. In a country like India, where the economy is mainly based on agriculture and the climatic conditions are isotropic, still we are not able to make full use of agricultural resources. The main reason is the lack of rains & scarcity of land reservoir water. The continuous extraction of water from earth is reducing the water level due to which lot of land is coming slowly in the zones of un-irrigated land. Another very important reason of this is due to unplanned use of water due to which a significant amount of water goes waste. At the present era, the farmers have been using irrigation technique in India through the manual control in which the farmers irrigate the land at the regular intervals. This process sometimes consumes more water or sometimes the water reachs late due to which the crops get dried.


Automated irrigation system uses values to turn motor ON and OFF. Automating farm or nursery irrigation allows farmers to apply the right amount of water at the right time, regardless of the availability of labour to turn valves on and off. In addition, farmers using automation equipment are able to reduece rrunoff from over watering saturated soils, avoid irrigating at the wrong time of day, which will improve crop performace by ensuring adequate water and nutrients when needed. Automatic irrigation is a valuable tool for accurate soil moisture control in highly specialized greenhouse vegetable production and it is a simple, precise method for irrigation.




The Call based irrigation system may offer users the flexibility to regulate and control the operations of their irrigation sytems with little intervention to reduce runoff from over watering for improvement in crop yeild. This enables users to take advantage of the globally deployed GSM networks with its low SMS service cost to use mobile phones and simple SMS commands to manage their irrigation system. It will be possible for users to use SMS to monitor directly the conditions of their farmland, schedule the water needs of crops, automatically control watering, and set control operational conditions in accordance with the water needs of crops. This will help minimize overwatering and crop production cost.




Target specification

The target of this project is time saving, removal of human error in adjusting available soil moisture levels and to miximize thier net profits. This helps to reduce the man power. The system supports water management decision, which determines the controlling time for the process and monitoring the whole system through GSM module. This system continuously monitors the water level in the tank and provide accurate amount of water requied to the plan or tree (crop). It checks the temperature, himidity and dew point so as to forecast the weather condition and accordingly the motor is controlled.



Theoretical Discussions

The connections between the mobile and microcontroller are done using GSM. The GSM module and microcontroller are connected using UART (universal asynchronous receiver transmitter). When the moisture sensor senses the low moisture content of the soil, it gives a signal to the microcontroller. The microcontroller then gives a signal to the called mobile (which is kept in the auto answering mode). By pressing the button in the called function, the signal is given back to the microcontroller. The microcontroller gives signal to the valves which causes it to get open. The water is given to the root of the plan drop by drop, and when the moisture content bedomes sufficient, the sensor senses this and gives back the signal to the microcontroller and the buzzer becomes off. Then by pressing the button in the calling function again, the valves is made off. The power supply needed by the controlling sysmte is +5V. The entire unit is as shown An UART is responsible for performing the main task in serial communications with competers. The device changes incoming parallel information to serial data which can be sent on a communication line. A second UART can be used to receive the information. The UART performs all the tasks, timing, parity checking etc. needed for the communication. The only extra devices attached are line driver chips capable of transforming the TTL level signals to line voltages.





In this and next chapters, we discussed about the basic components to be used, thier functions, block diagram, the description of each components used in this project. We also discussed about the tools used to do this project. This gives a basec idea of our project details.


◆Block Diagram



◆Pictorial Diagram



◆Schematic Diagram



◆Tools Used

To do this project, we have used a tool of GR-KAEDE Web Compiler. This tool provides a basic platform to do coding for GR-Kaede board.





Following are the major components used from which microcontroller based automated irrigation system has been fabricated.

◆Soil Moisture Sensor


This sensor used for sensing the water content of the soil in the field. The moisture sensor has two probes and uses them to measure moisture in the soil by telling how well an electrical current is passed between the two probes as shows in the soil moisture sensor and it shows interfacing the soil moisture sensor with the GR-Kaede board.



◆GR-Kaede Microcontroller


GR-Kaede is the product of Renesas electronics. It is a prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software designed to make the process of using electronics in multidisciplinary projects more accessible. It can be used to develop interactive objects, taking inputs from a variety of sensors, and controlling a variety of lights, motors, and other physical outputs. GR-Kaede projects can be stand-alone or they can communicate with software running on a computer (e.g. Pure Data, Processing, MaxMSP, Flash).





A relay is an electrical switch that opens and closes under the control of another electrical circuit. In the original form, the switch is operated by an electromagnet to open or close one or many sets of contacts. A relay is able to control an output circuit of higher power than the input circuit. The relay diagram shows the representation of a relay. By default when there is no excitation in the coil the NC (Normally Closed) and C (Common Terminal) are connected through the contact internally. When the coil is excited by providing the required coil voltage, the contact switches from the NC to NO (Normally Open) side. In this case, the C and NC terminals are connected internally.



◆GSM Module

This GSM Modem can accept any GSM network operator SIM card and act just like a mobile phone with its own unique phone number. Advantage of using this modem will be that you can use its RS232 port to communicate and develop embedded applications. Applications like SMS Control,data transfer, remote control and logging can be developed easily.



The modem can either be connected to PC serial port directly or to any microcontroller through MAX232. It can be used to send and receive SMS or make/receive voice calls. It can also be used in GPRS mode to connect to internet and do many applications for data logging and control. In GPRS mode you can also connect to any remote FTP server and upload files for data logging.

This GSM modem is a highly flexible plug and play quad band SIM900A GSM modem for direct and easy integration to RS232 applications. Supports features like Voice, SMS, Data/Fax, GPRS and integrated TCP/IP stack.

SMS based Remote Control & Alerts
Security Applications
Sensor Monitoring
GPRS Mode Remote Data Logging


◆Humidity Sensor


A humidity sensor (or hygrometer) senses, measures and reports the relative humidity in the air. It therefore measures both moisture and air temperature. Relative humidity is the ratio of actual moisture in the air to the highest amount of moisture that can be held at that air temperature. The warmer the air temperature is, the more moisture it can hold. Humidity/dew sensors use capacitive measurement, which relies on electrical capacitance. Electrical capacity is the ability of two nearby electrical conductors to create an electrical field between them. The sensor is composed of two metal plates and contains a non-conductive polymer film between them. This film collects moisture from the air, which causes the voltage between the two plates to change. These voltage changes are converted into digital readings showing the level of moisture in the air.



◆Liquid Crystal Display


The LCD will display the alphabets, numbers, characters and symbols. The LCD used here is eight bit parallel type and the display size is 20*4. Liquid Crystal Display is used for displaying the moisture value. LCD consists of three control pins and eight data pins. Based on the commands given to the control pins, data can be read from or write to the LCD. The eight data pins of the LCD are connected to the PORTB pins PB0-RB7. Three control pins are connected to PORTC pins. RC0, RC1, RC2 are used for register select (RS), read/write (R/W) and enable (E) respectively.





The step down transformer converts 230V from AC mains into 15V AC have used a centre tap transformer having -15V, 0V, 15V and 0.5 ampere. Transformer selection is based on the fact that regulator ICs require around 14V as input considering dropout voltage (around 2V), in order to obtain 12V power supply. And current demand of ICs 741, ADC, microcontroller, comparator etc. is satisfied using 1A transformer.

Transformer steps down AC voltage from 230V AC to 15V AC. It is then given to bridge rectifier. Bridge rectifier converts AC voltage into pulsating DC. It is then given to regulator ICs which output constant DC voltage. These voltages are given to other ICs as VCC or reference. Outputs of ICs 7805, 7812 & 7912 are +5V, +12V & -12V respectively.


The step down transformer converts 230V from AC mains into 15V AC have used a centre tap transformer having -15V, 0V, 15V and 0.5 ampere. Transformer selection is based on the fact that regulator ICs require around 14V as input considering dropout voltage (around 2V), in order to obtain 12V power supply. And current demand of ICs 741, ADC, microcontroller, comparator etc. is satisfied using 1A transformer.



Transformer steps down AC voltage from 230V AC to 15V AC. It is then given to bridge rectifier. Bridge rectifier converts AC voltage into pulsating DC. It is then given to regulator ICs which output constant DC voltage. These voltages are given to other ICs as VCC or reference. Outputs of ICs 7805, 7812 & 7912 are +5V, +12V & -12V respectively.

◆Light Sensor


The light dependent resistor, LDR, is known by many names including the photo resistor, photo-resistor, photoconductor, photoconductive cell, or simply the photocell. It is probably the term photocell that is the most widely used in data and instruction sheets for domestic equipment.



The photo resistor, or light dependent resistor, LDR, finds many uses as a low cost photo sensitive element and was used for many years in photographic light meters as well as in other applications such as flame, smoke and burglar detectors, card readers and lighting controls for street lamp.

◆Data Logger


A data logger is any device that can be used to store data. This includes many data acquisition devices such as plug-in boards or serial communication systems which use a computer as a real time data recording system. It is a standalone device that can read various types of electrical singals and store the data in internal memory for later download to a computer.



The advantage of data loggers is that they can operate independently of a computer, unlike many other types of data acquisition devices. Data loggers are available in various shapes and sizes. The range includes simple economical single channel fixed function loggers to more powerful programmable devices capable of handling hundreds of inputs. By default, it is given in GR - Kaede board as shown in figure.

◆Product Manufacturing Cost




Setup demo

This and next chapters show the graphical and tabulated results of our project. The various paraemters as that of the temperature, humidity, moisture is measure using the respected sensors and thier readings are tabulated. We also mentioned the status of the motor, about the required conditions to turn the motor ON/OFF.


◆Full demo of project


◆Graph of Sample readings on Demo



Graphical analysis

The analysis can be done for the following parameters.

◆IoT View

As the talk, the number of companies to help enable thier IoT (Internet of Things) ideas. And as a result, we hear about new idas and solutions that are already solving business challenges with M2M (Machine to Machine) communication. In one of our recent posts, we discussed some of our favorite industrial IoT applications. And today, we want to highlight some of the most compelling IoT applications in another industry - agriculture. Agriculture IoT is becoming one of the fastest growing fields (pun intended) within the IoT. Today, more than ever, farmers have to more effectively utilize and conserve their resources. That's where the need for data comes in, and M2M communication has made the ongoing collection of that info easy. Check out these five wireless sensors in agriculture and farming that are making it possible to obtain the meaningful data they've been missing out on.

In this project, we are using Internet of Things (IoT). It means that all the collected data will send to GR-Kaede board and it sends to Web portal (Online view) through Ethernet Cable. This monitoring can be done through any devices like Mobile, Tab, Laptops and PCs as shown below.

IoT link:


View through LAP and PC



View through Tab and Mobile



View through Tab and Mobile




◆Temperature Analysis


The above graph shows the characteristics of Temperature and time. The temperature sensor (LM 35) measures the various temperature at respective time.




◆Soil Moisture Level Analysis


The graph which is above shows that the level of Soil Moisture with the given time interval, it represented in graph. The soil moisture can be sensed by the moisture sensor which placed in the irrigation area.



◆Humidity Level Analysis


The Relative Humidity graph shows that the characteristics of Time and Humidity values. The level of humidity senses by the humidity sensor (SY-HS-220) with the respective time interval.



◆Light Intensity Level Analysis


The Light Intensity level graph shows that the characteristics of Time and Intensity of Light. The level of intensity senses by the Light sensor with the respective time interval.



◆Data-logger Values


Sample (25th Oct 2015)




Measuring soil moisture is important in agriculture to help farmers manage thier irrigation systems more efficiently. Not only are farmers able to generally use less water to grow a crop, they are able to increase yields and the quality of the crop by better management of soil moisture during critical plan growth stages. Embedded system for automatic irrigation of an agriculture field offers a potential solution to support site-specific irrigation maangement that allows producers to maximize their productivity while saving the water.

The proposed technique has many advantages like 
1. Reducing the risk of electric shocks, deaths due to poisonous creatures in the fields. 
2. Visual display using LCD display unit. 
3. Watering depends on the moisture level present in the fields.
4. All the farm parameters can view through online in graphical notation. 
5. Efficient and low cost design. 
6. Fast response. 
7. User friendly. 


Future scope

Thus, this system avoids over irrigation, under irrigation, top soil erosion and reduce the wastage of water. The main advantage is that the system's action can be changed according to the situation (crops, weather conditions, soil etc.). By implementing this sytem, agricultural, horticultural lands, parks, gardens, golf courses can be irrigated. Thus , this system is cheaper and efficient when compared to other type of automation system. In large scale applications, high sensitivity sensors can be implemented for large areas of agricultural lands.

For the fore coming days, we have an idea to monitor the water pressure level with flow level and above discussed details can be displayed in the Web Portal and intimate in Twitter.




[1].A. ALGEEB, A. ALBAGUL, A. ASSENI , O. KHALIFA, O. S. JOMAH,” Design and Fabrication of an Intelligent Irrigation Control System”, Advances In Sensors, Signals And Materials,2010.

[2]Kirsten L. Findell, Elfatih A. B. Eltahir,”Atmospheric controls on soil moisture-boundary layer interactions: Three-dimensional wind effects”,Journal Of Geophysical Research, Vol. 108, No. D8, 2003.

[3]M.D. Dukes, R. Muñoz-Carpena, L. Zotarelli, J. Icerman, J.M. Scholberg,”,Soil Moisture Based Irrigation Control To Conserve Water And Nutrients Under Drip Irrigated Vegetable Production”, Estudios de la Zona No Saturada del Suelo Vol. VIII. 2007.

Reference / Hand Books
[1] DAVIES JOHN H, “MSP430 Microcontroller Basics”, Newnes An Imprint of Elseivier, 1st Edition,

1. Renesasrulz Forum:Technical help
2. Arduino Programming:
3. Introduction to Arduino:

Video link:

IoT link:

MVP information SECE/Coimbatore

Ⅲ Year Electrical and Electronics Engineering Students 
Sri Eshwar College of Engineering (SECE), Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu.

Team Leader

Members of Team
Rajasekaran K 
Malairaja D
Aravind S