A New, Wireless Mesh Monitoring Technology that is Self-Installable in Family Farms

Author: Rajiv Vora

Vora, Rajiv, 2016 A New, Wireless Mesh Monitoring Technology that is Self-Installable in Family Farms, Flinders University, School of Computer Science, Engineering and Mathematics

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This Project in whole discusses the implementation of mobile mesh telecommunication to generate a new off-grid technology, which addresses identified needs of rural and remote Australians. In this thesis, the sensors and actuators, which used in water management system and its connection with Dragino MS14-S has been discussed. Furthermore, it discusses the implementation of inexpensive sensors and simple connections in uncomplicated language that farmers can understand and can implement it by themselves.

Australia has one of the biggest ranges of affirmed natural area on the planet. This is aided largely by the broad agricultural area in Australia, a lot of which is reasonable broad-acre farming and pastoral. This leads to family farming, which is very crucial in Australia. Many farmers in the country work on farms with their family. Farming families have a greater momentum to bring a good outcome to their farming products since they are working together. Rather than a business, families are vital to remote communities to keep them a viable size. Which lead us to address their challenges in monitoring and maintaining their farms and property.

Family farms are living in the remote community since many decades. They are the one, who helps to maintain the population required by the law to get the certain basic facilities from the government (schools, hospitals, etc.). Moreover, they provide employment to the fellow remote communities. However, in more recent time, they are facing a significant deficit in assets monitoring and managing technology. Their productivity and efficiency are getting less due to the lake of appropriate technological advancement, which can address their identifiable needs. On the other hand, due to globalisation, big multinational corporate giants are taking more interest in Australian farm business, who are utilising digital agriculture and due to that they are getting better productivity compared to family farms. Thus, family farms are considering agriculture as not a long term economically viable occupation. However, it will not affect only family farms but whole remote community because family farms are the one, who are making the remote community and if they continue to migrate to the urban area then there will be no community left to make a remote community!

Remote outback pastoral enterprises, including agricultural, horticultural, tourism-based and hybrid operations face significant internal communications challenges due to the size, location, geography and relatively hostile environments of their operations. Monitoring and management of assets and resources often require physical visitation that could otherwise be avoided if affordable and appropriate remote telecommunications solutions were available. These visits typically involve considerable distances and time, which in turn decreases the efficiency of their businesses and causes under-utilisation of manpower and resources relative to effectiveness. However, current communications/monitoring options on the market are both prohibitively expensive and too complicated for widespread use, or have limited functionality, leaving pastoralists with the unenviable task of choosing between lost efficiency and high capital costs.

Thesis discussed a technology, which is simple and has self-maintainability, which includes cheap and reliable components. Moreover, new communication technology, which can transfer sensors data to the farmers, utilising simple infrastructure. The thesis is discussing utilisation of simple sensor/hardware and easy connections, which farmers can understand and implement by themselves.


Subject: Engineering thesis

Thesis type: Masters
Completed: 2016
School: School of Computer Science, Engineering and Mathematics
Supervisor: Dr. Paul Gardner-Stephen