The Irrigation Association is developing an independent third party testing protocol specific to “smart” soil moisture sensor-based controllers. SWAT began with efforts to test climatologically-based controllers that use weather information to help mediate irrigation usage. In addition to this approach to smart watering, there is a well-established scientific concept that direct measure of soil moisture is also a valid way to support and control irrigation efficiently.
Currently the protocol is administered through the Center for Irrigation Technology, an independent testing laboratory, applied research facility and educational resource center based at California State University, Fresno. The final objective of this protocol is to evaluate how well current commercial technology has integrated the scientific data into a practical system that meets the agronomic needs of turf and landscape plants.
SWAT is finalizing development of soil moisture sensor testing that will explore both sensor response and virtual weather simulation.
Note: Central control systems
Please read this memo regarding central control systems.
The following controllers have completed IA-SWAT protocol testing of Phase 1 calibration of the soil moisture sensor component and results have been released by the manufacturer. For individual results, please click on the PDFs below.
Important:The Phase 1 Calibration Summary does not evaluate the efficacy of a sensor over the entire range of soil moisture conditions possible, nor does it measure the integration of soil moisture sensors with a controller to manage irrigation. Testing of soil moisture sensors for smart control of irrigation is slated for Phase 2.
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