How can we restore our planet’s forests while supporting ecosystems, and the communities that surround them, in challenging environments?
With a little help from MachineQ, Sensoterra and its parent organization, Land Life Company, are trying to solve that problem through the development of low-cost, IoT-driven irrigation methods. Founded in 2013, Land Life Company pioneered the creation and use of biodegradable cocoons to systematically water seedlings planted in degraded soil. This approach appeared to solve a major problem, but Land Life Company sought hard data to prove its efficacy.
“The Land Life team needed to make sure saplings planted with the cocoon were getting the nutrients and moisture they needed,” says Jessica Nuboer. “At the time, the soil moisture sensors available were expensive, difficult to use, and required specialized installation, which was ineffective in the remote areas Land Life Company works to restore.”
Faced with these challenges, Land Life decided to become the solution and develop their own inexpensive, robust, and completely wireless soil moisture sensors. Thus, Sensoterra was born.
Averaging $150 per sensor, Sensoterra’s technology enables users to collect soil moisture readings over a vast area, and with installation involving a ‘hammer and nail approach’, the total time required is minimal. “Because our sensors are a fraction of the cost of competition, users are able to place more sensors in an area for the same costs – allowing them to get more relevant data by measuring across different soil and plant types,” says Nuboer. “This is when data value is reached, and smarter irrigation decisions made.”
To collect and transmit data, Sensoterra needed access to a broad, reliable IoT network. The company turned to MachineQ to provide both public network access and private gateways, enabling Sensoterra to expand its reach. “We have a strong partnership,” says Nuboer. “The reach of MachineQ’s network, especially their expanding public LoRa® availability, is a huge potential for IoT devices. Because our sensors are capable of connecting to MachineQ’s network, the provisioning process is seamless and their service is excellent.”
Now operating in over 20 countries, the range of Sensoterra’s sensors can exceed an average of 1.5 miles in diameter. Their open API encourages integration to add value to the data – says Nuboer, “it makes the most sense when data is collected and integrated into a full dashboard system, so other variables like weather forecasts, humidity and temperature, are accounted for during analysis.”
As it looks to the future, Sensoterra hopes to expand into larger areas – especially those featuring public MachineQ LoRa networks – to increase its impact on water conservation. Says Nuboer, “As we move ahead with our goals of reducing water waste and improving the overall irrigation processes, the MachineQ LoRa network is vital to our progress.”
To learn more about Sensoterra visit sensoterra.com.