Wireless Sensor Network in Wine Production

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Wireless Sensor Networks in Wine Production
Oliver Bonham-Carter, Prajol Shakya, Cory Becker, Jasmine Timilsina, Padmapriya Madamanch April 24, 2012

Abstract Grape vines, to a wine producer, are the asset of the business since they supply the most fundamental element of the wine making process. Every measure must be taken to ensure that these grape vines are in excellent health – properly watered, given enough light, and etc. If the grape vines have been not been properly watered or are suffering from some preventable cause, then this information is extremely important to the wine producers who could use it to make decisions to better the vines’ health. In the old days, farmers would need inspect the field manually to determine the over-all plant health. With the help of wireless sensors, this evaluation can be done automatically and with more precision to better determine the health of the vines. In addition, wireless sensors are able to make these readings from each section of the field which provides the wine producers with information which can be used to properly water each section, for example, to maintain the specific levels of hydration which the vines require. In this paper we discuss how wireless sensors are an efficient, cost-effective measure which wine producers, and even general farms, can employ to better care for the plants which make their business. We discuss several technical subjects; technologies, problems with connectivity and their solutions) behind the function of wireless sensors to argue that wireless sensors are extremely helpful for wine production and general crop production. The benefit of the surveillance by wireless sensors support ideas that wireless sensors are a technology which we expect to see in use for farming applications for a very long time.

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Introduction

A glass a day keeps the doctor away is an old saying that highlights the benefits of wine consumption. In fact, 87% of wine consumers believe that, in moderation, red wine can be good for your health and is much better for your health than drinking beer [18]. Wine is especially popular during the holidays and family gatherings. Wine has also been a symbol in religion throughout history with Dionysus, Bacchus, and Liber, ancient Greek and Roman gods of wine, and in Christian and Jewish ceremonies. Wine has played an important role in history. To meet the demand for wine, wine grape growers must grow and harvest grapes from vines with as little waste as possible. Growing high quality and healthy wine grapes in a vineyard is a delicate process, requiring a grower to actively monitor his or her vineyard. A wine grape grower must first choose a location in which to grow grapes. The perfect location has the right mix of climate, sunlight, soils, water, field size, wineries nearby, agricultural zoning and regulations, sources of power, and cost of land. This is not a straightforward process and compromises must be made to be profitable in addition to the management of employees, finances, and marketing. Although the recent recession caused a slowdown in the wine industry and a constriction of the supply of wine-grapes used to produce wine, the industry is now thriving and eager to boost production again [18]. The supply of wine-grapes, however, is unable to meet demand due to vineyard disease or pests. After choosing land and planting grapevines, a grower must continually and precisely monitor his or her vineyard and create an environment in which soil drainage, fruit quality, temperature, relative humidity, solar radiation, wind speed, wind direction, and air movement have a positive effect on grapes. The balance must be perfect. For example, according to [13], soil drainage is one of the most important variables to grow a successful grape for wine production. The hydration of the soil is critical and has serious consequences on the grape plant; too wet or too dry are crippling. A wine grape grower must strike 1

the right balance to...
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