Appropriate environmental conditions are necessary for optimum plant growth, improved crop yields, and efficient use of water and other resources. Automating the data acquisition process of the soil conditions and various climatic parameters that govern plant growth allows information to be collected at high frequency with less labor requirements.
The existing systems employ PC or SMS-based systems for keeping the user continuously informed of the conditions inside the greenhouse; but are unaffordable, bulky, difficult to maintain and less accepted by the technologically unskilled workers.
The objective of this project is to design a simple, easy to install, microcontroller-based circuit to monitor and record the values of temperature, humidity, soil moisture and sunlight of the natural environment that are continuously modified and controlled in order optimize them to achieve maximum plant growth and yield.
The controller used is a low power, cost efficient chip manufactured by ATMEL having 8K bytes of on-chip flash memory. It communicates with the various sensor modules in real-time in order to control the light, aeration and drainage process efficiently inside a greenhouse by actuating a cooler, fogger, dripper and lights respectively according to the necessary condition of the crops.
An integrated Liquid crystal display (LCD) is also used for real time display of data acquired from the various sensors and the status of the various devices. Also, the use of easily available components reduces the manufacturing and maintenance costs.
The design is quite flexible as the software can be changed any time. It can thus be tailor-made to the specific requirements of the user.
This makes the proposed system to be an economical, portable and a low maintenance solution for greenhouse applications, especially in rural areas and for small scale agriculturists.