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IoT Gateway Applications in Smart Agriculture

Agriculture has benefited immensely by technology in recent times with dramatic increases in productivity. Advances in agricultural mechanization in the few decades have removed the constraints of animal- and manpower limitation and ushered in the industrialization of agriculture. Today, agriculture technology is moving toward precision and intelligence, advancing hand-in-hand with the broader proliferation of IoT in all fields of human experience to continue to improve productivity.

The agricultural Internet of Things refers to the networked system composed of Internet of Things gateway connected to an array of sensors and sensor aggregators, as well as intelligent mechanical or electromechanical equipment throughout the greenhouse.  Important environmental variables such as temperature, moisture, pH, soil nutrient levels, light exposure, CO2 concentration are becoming important inputs to big data analytics designed to maximize productivity on an increasing granular scale.

Vantron’s rugged industrial gateways act as the nexus of information from all sensors, relay them reliably to the cloud management platform, and feeds back necessary control information to actuate environmental control complements such as irrigation, lighting, fans, or solar blinds. Vantron’s gateways support a wide variety of protocols for downlink connection with sensors:  Zigbee, serial communications, Bluetooth, WiFi, and LoRa.  With edge compute capability and real-time 3G/4G or satellite uplinks to the cloud platform, a wide range of flexibility in local or centralized control algorithms can be implemented.

Figure 1 Internet of Things Greenhouse

The agricultural IoT can achieve the following function:

Real-time monitoring function

Real-time collection of air temperature, air humidity, carbon dioxide, light, soil moisture, soil temperature, air temperature and wind speed in the greenhouse through the sensor equipment. The device transmits the data to the operation management center through the mobile communication network for operation management and then the operation management center analyzes and processes the data.

Figure 2 Agricultural Internet of Things

Features of  Vantron Technology VT-M2M-QK Gateway:  

Intel Quark, X1021, 400MHz processor

512MB / 1GB onboard memory

1xMicroSD external storage

SPI / UART display output interface

2x10 / 100-BaseT Ethernet, 2xUSB 2.0 Host

COM2 (1xRS232 or1xRS485), COM2 (1xRS232 or1xRS485)

1x audio output, 1x microphone input

Support Linux operating system (optional Wind River + IDP2.0)

Fanless design, black aluminum alloy shell

Power input DC12V (6-36V), support automatic power-on

Support industrial wide temperature: -40 ~ + 85

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