Radio Wave Moisture Sensing Technology 

Lead Researchers: David Zoldoske and the
Center for Irrigation Technology (CIT) team

Industry Partner: Digital Springs, LLC

The need: Equipping growers with real-time accurate data on soil water status across large areas of agricultural cropland is of critical importance.  

The goals: This project tested a new radio wave-based platform that using remote measurements to accurately access soil moisture content in discrete areas and depth, prototyping a small, wheeled cart to cover small areas of measurement.  

The impact: The team established that radio wave technology can accurately detect water content in different soil types, down to significant depths of 12 feet. The mobile radio wave platform prototype began beta testing in the lab at CIT and was demonstrated to senior staff with the Economic Development Administration in October 2018. A soil probe was developed and tested using the same technology.