Agritech: Smart irrigation systems

AGRITECH: Smart irrigation systems

Irrigation represents a key step in the productive process of fruit cultivation for the ultimate goal of high qualitative standards and a low rate of diseases. In fact, the qualitative and productive level of fruit cultivation is determined by different factors, among which water content results to be crucial. Irrigation management should be cautious and rational to avoid a negative impact on final production. Over-irrigations jeopardize water quality and develop optimal conditions for pathogenic agents. On the other hand, a prolonged under-irrigations risk to compromise the production even before the fruit harvest.

Main goal of this research topic is the innovation of farms by means of cutting edge technologies that will let the correct definition of the water requirement and the complete automation of the micro-irrigation system. Through sensors that measure matric water potential, the plants' water requirement will be indirectly identified. Sensor data will be read automatically by a control unit, and an algorithm will activate a localized irrigation system when needed. All data will be remotely available by means of a web interface and of a smartphone application.

Activities will lead to the realization of a sensor system to be buried in the soil. Such wireless and low-power sensors will transmit information about soil water content and potential. Following an algorithm, the control unit will activate or not the irrigation in those sectors where the water is lacking.

ERC Sector:

  • PE7_4 (Micro and nano) systems engineering
  • PE7_8 Networks (communication networks, networks of sensors, robots...)


  • Agricultural engineering
  • Wireless sensor networks
  • Precision agriculture
  • Smart irrigation