# VB.Net programs for connecting the automated irrigation system with decision support tool (NESP TWQ 3.1.2, JCU)

- Between 01/06/2017 - 00:00 and 05/11/2019 - 00:00

This dataset presents the programs for enabling communication between the WiSA automated irrigation system and the decision support tool – IrrigWeb for NESP TWQ Project 3.1.2. The WiSA automated irrigation system is a commercialised platform that is used to turn on/off pumps and valves remotely. Aqualink is a software in the WiSA system that used to manage the communication between users and the WiSA hardware. Users can also use this software to manage irrigation schedules and generate irrigation reports. However, the software is unable to communicate directly with the decision support tool.

Therefore, the first part of the dataset is a program called Uplink, which is developed to automatically extract the irrigation data from the Aqualink database, calculate the amount of water applied for each irrigation set, store the data in a file, upload the file to IrrigWeb FTP server. The Uplink program eliminates the need for farmers to manually input the irrigation record into IrrigWeb and saves farmers a significant amount of time. The Uplink program has been running for more than two years on a trial farm in the Burdekin region and has saved this farmer more than 200 hours.

Similarly, IrrigWeb is an only decision support platform which is able to create irrigation scheduling suggestions based on the input from farmers and the uploaded irrigation data from the Uplink program. However, IrrigWeb is not capable of creating customised irrigation schedules for each individual farm, based on their irrigation system design, water and energy limitation, and plant priorities.

Therefore, the second part of the dataset is a program called Downlink, which is developed to automatically download the water balance information from the IrrigWeb server, calculate the amount of water required from each irrigation set for the next day. The Downlink program will then develop a practical irrigation schedule that considers the Tariff, pumping capacity and the irrigation priority. The calculated irrigation schedule from the Downlink program will be converted into irrigation schedule files for Aqualink, 1) shift: determines the time and duration of an irrigation event, as well as the pump and valve that will be activated for this event; and 2) cycle: determines the date of an irrigation event.

The Downlink program then stores the irrigation schedule files onto the specific folder for Aqualink and restarts Aqualink to apply the new irrigation schedule.

The third part of the dataset is a program called Config, which is a handover tool to configure the Uplink and Downlink programs easily. This tool is used to several variables that will be used in the Uplink and Downlink programs, e.g., farm name, farm ID, rain gauge information, hydraulic group information and update interval.

Methods:

The Water Applied Calculation

Let T_(i,n) and F_(i,n) be the record time (corresponding to LogDT in the database) and flow rate (corresponding to SValue in the database) for the nth record of flow meter iin one day, where Iis the total number of flow meters in the hydraulic group, and N is the total number of records for flow meter i.

Defined by T_(j,m)^S and T_(j,m)^F the start time (corresponding to StartDT in the database) and finish time (corresponding to FinishDT in the database) for the mth irrigation event of valve j in one day, where J is the total number of irrigation sets and M is the total number of irrigation events for valve j.

Here, the normalised flow rate for record F_(i,n)^N is defined as the recorded flow rate divided by the sum of areas A_j of irrigation sets j opened at this record time, represented as follows:

F_(i,n)^N =F_(i,n)/ SUM(A_j) ),(litre/second/ha) (1)

subject to

T_(j,m)^S < T_(i,n)< T_(j,m)^F

The total amount of water applied (litre) in one irrigation event W_(j,m)for an irrigation set can be calculated as the summation of the normalised recorded flow rate which satisfies T_(i,n)multiplied by the record interval (which is set to 5 minutes in Aqualink), then multiplied by the area of irrigation set j, which can be represented as:

W_(j,m)=A_j ×SUM(F_(i,n)^N×300 ) ,(litre) (2)

subject to

T_(i,n) in {T_(j,m)^S,T_(j,m)^F }

Thus, the total amount of water applied (mm) for irrigation set j in one day can be calculated as:W_j=SUM(W_(j,m)/(10000×A_j )),(mm)

The Irrigation Scheduling Calculation

The Downlink program downloads the soil water deficit (denoted by S_(j,d-1),j in {1,J}) of yesterday and expected daily crop water use of today (denoted by C_(j,d)) from IrrigWeb for each irrigation set. The soil water deficit at the end of today can be estimated as:

S_(j,d)=S_(j,d-1)-C_(j,d) (4)

and the water required is

W_(j,d)=S_(j,d)-TH_j (5)

where TH_j is the soil water deficit threshold for valve j. The required number of hours H_(j,d) for each irrigation set can then be calculated as:

H_(j,d)=W_(j,d)/F_j (6)

where F_j is the design flow rate for valve j .

The irrigation shift is determined by the following factors, the number of available off-peak hours, the number of required irrigation hours of each irrigation set, the capacity (i.e., the rated flow rate) of the pump, the design flow rates of each irrigation set, and the irrigation priority in this hydraulic group.

Denoted by P_i by the pumping capacity of hydraulic group i, J the total number of irrigation sets in this hydraulic group, T_d the off-peak starting time of day d and H_d the number of off-peak hours. As mentioned previously, the optimum irrigation scheduling is to prioritise the younger crop in the same hydraulic group. Therefore, at the start of each irrigation schedule calculation, all the irrigation sets in the same hydraulic group are rearranged according to their ages (or ratoons). The algorithm then finds the best subset of valves that need irrigation and can be irrigated at the same time (meaning that the overall design flow rate is lower than the pumping capacity). The irrigation event is then created for a duration of the minimum hour among the required hours in this subset and the available number of hours for irrigation. The available hours, the required hours, and the starting time are updated after each irrigation shift, and the algorithm continues until there are no available hours left for irrigation.

Format:

The Uplink and Downlink programs were developed in Visual Studio VB.Net Environment. These two programs are both console-based programs and do not have a user interface. The Config program has a user interface to configure both Uplink and Downlink programs and can also be used to start and stop these two programs.

Data Location:

This dataset is filed in the eAtlas enduring data repository at: data\nesp\3.1.2-IOT-irrigation-system

- Everingham, Yvette, A/Prof

College of Science and Engineering, James Cook University

yvette.everingham@jcu.edu.au

- Wang, Eric, Dr

College of Science and Engineering, James Cook University

eric.wang@jcu.edu.au

- Wang, Eric, Dr

College of Science and Engineering, James Cook University

eric.wang@jcu.edu.au - Everingham, Yvette, A/Prof

College of Science and Engineering, James Cook University

yvette.everingham@jcu.edu.au