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A real-time optimisation system for automation of furrow irrigation
journal contributionposted on 24.07.2018, 00:00 by Richard KoechRichard Koech, RJ Smith, MH Gillies
An automated real-time optimisation system for furrow irrigation was developed and tested in this study. The system estimates the soil infiltration characteristics in real time and utilises the data to control the same irrigation event to give optimum performance for the current soil conditions. The main components of the system are as follows: the sensing of flow rate and a single advance time to a point approximately midway down the field, a system for scaling the soil infiltration characteristic and a hydraulic simulation program based on the full hydrodynamic model. A modem is attached to a microcomputer enabling it to receive signals from the flow meter and advance sensor via a radio telemetry system. Sample data from a furrow-irrigated commercial cotton property are used to demonstrate how the system works. The results demonstrate that improvements in on-farm water use efficiency and labour savings are potentially achievable through the use of the system.